Dr. Cui Yang's long term career goal is to develop interventions to address alcohol use and risky HIV related behaviors among high-risk populations. There is an urgent need for the development of culturally-tailored intervention to reduce HIV infections among men who have sex with men and women (MSMW), a high priority population identified in the recent national plan for reducing HIV infection. This K99/ROO application is therefore uniquely timed to contribute to a growing field of HIV prevention science. Overseen by a team of mentors, Dr. Yang's training objectives include 1) To gain expertise in alcohol risk-reduction interventions, 2) To enhance knowledge of alcohol use measurement among high risk populations;and 3) To further develop skills in qualitative methods and application of advanced statistical methods. In the mentored phase research (K99), Dr. Yang will conduct both qualitative (n=40) and quantitative interviews with 40 participants recruited from Baltimore, MD to 1) explore the social factors associated with alcohol use in the context of high risk sex behaviors, 2) to examine the feasibility of peer-driven intervention, and 3) to develop reliable and valid measures of alcohol use. The training objectives and mentored phase research are instrumental to the successful advancement to the ROO phase research which proposes to develop intervention materials and will compare outcomes between two study conditions: (1) standard individual voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) (n=100), and (2) experimental condition (n=100). In the experimental condition, participants will be trained in the reduction of alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors, peer outreach, and communication skills so that they can conduct HIV prevention and alcohol reduction outreach among their risk network members. Participants in the comparison group will receive the standard care of HIV testing and counseling. All participants will be assessed at baseline and 6-month follow up. Finding of this pilot peer-driven intervention will provide significant preliminary data for an R01 grant of a prevention intervention to address issues of sexual health and alcohol-related risks among men who have HIV or at a higher risk of acquiring HIV.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed intervention described in this application is to train affected men as peer health educators to promote the reduction of alcohol use and risky behavior that could prevent or reduce the transmission of HIV among men and women. Results from this intervention will inform future peer-driven interventions and the translation of such an intervention to the other settings, where alcohol and risky behaviors often co-occur.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Career Transition Award (K99)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-DD (01))
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Freeman, Robert
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Yang, Cui; Latkin, Carl; Tobin, Karin et al. (2013) INFORMAL SOCIAL SUPPORT AND DEPRESSION AMONG AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN. J Community Psychol 41:435-445