The Candidate: I am an Assistant Professor of Nursing and a nationally certified family nurse practitioner. My long-term goal is to become an independent investigator, with the expertise to implement Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention interventions. My program of research focuses on HIV prevention in females, with an emphasis on determining the HIV knowledge, motivation, and behavioral skill needs of black college-aged females to foster HIV prevention. The intermediate goals of this career development plan focus on education and research. The educational goal is to acquire knowledge and skills essential to: tailor interventions, implement RCT methodologies, and disseminate findings. The research goal is to develop expertise as an independent investigator to tailor a previously tested intervention (HIP TEENS) and conduct a pilot RCT [HIP LADIES]. These goals are the direct result of the candidate's experiences as a family nurse practitioner. Practice as a clinician providing health care to underserved and uninsured patients predominately women since 2006 has extensively influenced my research goals. This proposed career development plan pulls together discrete areas of research that require different yet complimentary skill sets. Therefore, an interdisciplinary team of mentors and advisors, with distinct areas of expertise, has been included in this career development team. Environment: My primary institution, University of South Florida, is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University of South Florida, College of Nursing is moving rapidly to establish itself as a top tier research- intensive college. USF College of Nursing has achieved its highest research ranking ever from the National Institutes of Health. In 2010, the College ranked 25th among nursing schools nationwide in NIH funding. Florida A&M University, an additional site for participant recruitment, has made impressive strides in research being awarded a total of more than $50 million in research funding. Both institutions will offer support to the PI and create an atmosphere conducive to collaborative and interprofessional teams for this award. This career development plan will be supervised by a team of experienced NIH funded, nationally recognized mentors, who provide an essential combination of expertise for the educational and research goals of this award. Research: Blacks account for the largest percentage of new cases of HIV/AIDS in all age categories, especially among people aged 13 to 24 years. Black women (12% of U.S. population of women) are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, accounting for 68% of estimated HIV diagnoses among women 13 years and older. Thus, efficacious HIV prevention interventions could decrease morbidity and mortality in US black women. Few HIV prevention interventions have been tested with a population of college students and those that focus on young black females are further limited. Scientist recommend that interventions focused on the black college population should be culturally appropriate, focus on behavior skills for negotiating safer sex, and should include training on the proper use of condoms. An efficacious HIV prevention intervention developed for females 15-19 years old (HIP TEENS) will be modified for use in this population. The overarching goal of this proposal is to tailor a previously tested intervention (HIP TEENS), and conduct a pilot randomized control trial [HIP LADIES] addressing HIV prevention in black college-aged females. The research plan has four attainable goals, which include: Goal 1: Gain an enhanced knowledge of the methodologies and procedures used to conduct RCTs Goal 2: Develop skills essential to conducting RCT research through training (e.g. coursework, seminars, research meetings, and conferences). Goal 3: Tailor a previously tested intervention (HIP TEENS) and conduct a pilot RCT [HIP LADIES] Specific Aims: I. Using focus group data from black college-aged women, tailor the HIP TEENS manuals (intervention and control). II. A multi-site pilot RCT will be conducted with 72 black college females, attending a Traditional University (TU) or Historically Black College/University(HBCU) to: (a) appraise feasibility in preparation for a full RCT (b) determine what refinements in recruitment &retention strategies are necessary for a full RCT and (c) estimate effect size on theoretically-driven &behavioral outcomes. Goal 4: Disseminate pilot RCT intervention results through publications and conference presentations.
This research will seek to reduce sexual risk behaviors that make young black women more susceptible to HIV. Ultimately, this study will contribute to reducing the disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS in this population.