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PS09-007, Evaluating Locally-Developed Homegrown HIV Prevention Interventions

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The Southeastern United States has the fastest-growing Latino population in the country and at the same time carries a disproportionate HIV burden. Few efficacious HIV prevention interventions exist for either Latinos or men who have sex with men (MSM). In response to RFA-PS-09-007 Evaluating Locally-Developed (Homegrown) HIV Prevention Interventions for African American and Hispanic/Latino MSM, our community-university partnership proposes a 5-year study (U01) to enhance, fully implement, and rigorously evaluate a small-group intervention designed to increase condom use and HIV testing among Latino MSM. The intervention was developed by Chatham Social Health Council staff and community partners, including Latino MSM, and is based on social cognitive theory and theory of empowerment education. The proposed study is a result of a long-term community-university partnership. A total of 300 Latino MSM will be enrolled. Participants will complete an initial baseline risk behavior assessment designed to measure current sexual behavior, and psychological, social, and cultural influences on sexual behavior and healthcare use. Participants then will be randomized to a 4-session small-group HIV prevention intervention (HOLA en Grupos) or a 4-session small-group cancer prevention education comparison intervention. All participants also will complete identical assessments at 3-month and 12-month follow-up. Participants in the HIV prevention intervention, relative to their peers in the comparison group, are anticipated to demonstrate (a) increased self-reported use of condoms during sexual intercourse; (b) increased self-reported use of HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) counseling, testing, and treatment services; (c) greater knowledge of the impact of HIV on communities (including Latino and MSM), and HIV risk behaviors and prevention strategies; (d) more positive attitudes towards abstinence and condom use; (e) increased self- efficacy to use and assert the use of condoms; (f) increased sense of mastery scores; (g) decreased barriers to risk reduction (e.g., health-compromising aspects of machismo); and (h) enhanced partner and provider communication and sexual negotiation skills. The results and products from this study will be disseminated to inform public health practice, research, and policy. Results and products will include: (1) a Spanish-language intervention that is: culturally relevant; designed to reduce HIV risk among Latino MSM, and ready for dissemination; and (2) a deeper understanding of HIV risk and intervention among Latino MSM.
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