Formerly incarcerated Black drug offenders are at an elevated risk for HIV infection. Despite substantial research expressing the need for HIV prevention services for ex-offenders post-release, this population has limited access to quality programming and services related to HIV risk reduction. This K01 application seeks to inform and adapt an HIV risk reduction intervention to address the needs of formerly incarcerated Black drug offenders who are being released from prisons in the New York City metropolitan area. This application supports the Principal Investigator's interest in becoming an independent behavioral scientist specializing in HIV prevention intervention development and adaptation. The proposed mentorship and training program will focus on the following key areas: mixed methods research;adaptation science;and intervention implementation. The proposed study will occur in three phases implemented over the course of five years. The formative phase will consist of survey administration on HIV literacy, needs and barriers to practicing protective behaviors, and HIV testing from 120 recently released Black drug offenders. Also during this phase, in-depth interviews with a subsample of 24 participants (12 male and 12 female participants) will also be conducted to gather more comprehensive information exploring needs and barriers to practicing HIV protective behaviors. The intervention development and adaptation phase, will consist of analyzing data from the survey research and in-depth interviews to tailor it for use with recently released Black drug offenders. In phase 3, the feasibility and acceptability of the adapted intervention will be pilot tested using a randomized clinical trial with 64 participants who are randomized to the adapted intervention or an Enhanced Referral Intervention arm. Building on the Information-Motivation and Behavioral Skills Model, this study will address the following specific aims: 1) To examine individual-level, environmental and contextual factors that affect HIV risk-related behaviors (i.e. illicit drug use and risky sexual behavior) among formerly incarcerated Black male and female drug offenders;2) To adapt Project START, an HIV risk reduction intervention for formerly incarcerated men, using data gathered from Aim 1, to increase access to HIV testing and address drivers of HIV vulnerability among recently released Black male and female drug offenders;and 3) To pilot test the feasibility and acceptability of the adapted Project START using a randomized clinical trial with 64 participants (32 men, 32 women). The proposed study will utilize a mixed-methods approach to investigate drivers of HIV risk among recently released Black drug offenders. By providing more contextual information on risk behaviors, future evidence-based approaches can be developed and rapidly deployed, advancing HIV prevention science, and providing essential support for a vulnerable population that consistently experiences barriers in accessing HIV prevention services.
This K01 application seeks to inform and adapt an HIV risk reduction intervention to address the needs of formerly incarcerated Black drug offenders who are being released from prisons in the New York City metropolitan area. The proposed mentorship and training program will focus on the following key areas: mixed methods research;adaptation science;and intervention implementation. A mixed methods approach will be used to conceptualize HIV risk related behaviors among this population, resulting in the development of a novel approach to better understanding and ultimately addressing racial disparities in HIV prevalence.