Aza Sisters: An HIV Prevention Program for African American Girls

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Recent years have shown an increase in the new cases of HIV infection among adolescent populations. As of 2003, AA adolescents account for 66% of the AIDS cases among 13-19 year olds (CDC, 2005), and adolescent girls are at a particularly high risk. Studies have shown that women who have a child abuse history are 4 times more likely to contract HIV (Cohen et. al., 2000), but many HIV prevention programs do not specifically address the needs of this population. Unfortunately, incidents of child abuse and other forms of childhood trauma often go unreported so identifying this population becomes another obstacle to providing appropriate services. By developing a primary prevention program that addresses abuse issues, we may be able to begin meeting the needs of this population even if their abuse has not been reported or identified. Aza, pronounced AH-zah, is a Swahili name meaning powerful. The purpose of the Aza Sisters program is to adapt DiClemente and Wingood's SiHLE program for a younger population (12-13) and to tailor the program to empower AA girls who may have experienced some form of child abuse or trauma. This exploratory application proposes two phases, an integration and adaptation phase, in which aspects of a trauma and recovery primary prevention curriculum (G-TREM) will be integrated into the SiHLE curriculum; and an implementation phase in which the modified Aza Sisters program will be administered to AA girls between the ages of 12-13 in a public school setting of Washington DC and the results compared to the results of girls in an activity control. The specific aims of the study are as follows: 1) to develop and pilot a culturally appropriate HIV prevention program for AA adolescent girls, with special attention to the needs of girls who may have a history of childhood abuse/trauma, 2) to determine the feasibility of an HIV prevention program that can effectively address the needs of girls who may have a history of child abuse/trauma in an after school setting, and 3) to provide a preliminary evaluation of the impact of the Aza Sisters program on long-term behavioral outcomes (e.g., sexual initiation and unsafe sexual behaviors), intermediate outcomes (efficacy and attitudes in the sexual domain), cultural factors (i.e., ethnic identity and cultural values), and gender specific outcomes (i.e., gender identity, relationship concerns, interpersonal coping strategies). The investigation focuses on earlier stages of adolescence in an effort to develop strategies that may prevent problem behaviors from occurring. Ultimately, information obtained as a result of this exploratory award will be used to prepare a competitive R01, with a randomized clinical trial that will provide a rigorous test of the Aza Sisters program compared to the unmodified SiHLE program.Aza Sisters: An HIV Prevention Program for African American girls This exploratory application proposes to develop and pilot a culturally appropriate HIV prevention program for AA adolescent girls (12-13), with special attention to the needs of girls who may have a history of childhood abuse/trauma. We will also attempt to determine the feasibility of conducting this program in a public school setting of Washington DC. The program, which is entitled Aza Sisters, will be developed by integrating aspects of a trauma and recovery primary prevention curriculum (G-TREM) into the SiHLE curriculum, a CDC approved HIV prevention program for African American girls. [unreadable]
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StatusNot started