This subproject is submitted with the renewal application of the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center University of the Virgin Islands (UVI)in response to the NIMHD Exploratory Centers of Excellence (P20),RFA-MD-11-002. This project is a randomized clinical trial (RCT) to test an intervention designed to reduce the risk of intimate partner violence and associated risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV infection in African Caribbean women in the US Virgin Islands.
The specific aims are to 1) combine and adapt an intimate partner violence empowerment ilntervention with an HIV prevention intervention 2) establish treatment fidelity procedures and 3) conduct a preliminary test of the combined intervention with women in the US Virgin Islands. The proposed intervention study builds on an ongoing study of intimate partner violence (IPV) being conducted as a collaborative project by investigators at the Caribbean ExploratoryResearch Center, UVI with researchers at several major mainland universities. The study in progress is titled Abuse Status and Health Consequences for African American and African Caribbean Women. It is a case control comparison of women living in the US Virgin Islands with women on the mainland (Baltimore, USA) who are seeking health care. The ongoing study is the first of its kind conducted in the US Virgin Islands. Intimate partner violence (IPV) includes physical, and/or sexual assault or threats by an intimate partner (current or former spouse, dating or other partner). The investigators will build on our work on intimate partner violence (IPV) in the US Virgin Islands and the increased risk it poses for abused women for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by developing and conducting a preliminary test of a culturally tailored health care system based intervention. The research design will first engage abused women, health care professionals and domestic violence program workers (living in and/or native Virgin Islanders) in focus groups to help the investigators with the adaptation and integration of a cultural and linguistically appropriate intervention tailored for this population. We will then conduct a preliminary test of the intervention in a randomized clinical trial.

Public Health Relevance

This study is of significant public health import. Decreasing violence and abuse in the lives of women as well as reducing their risks for sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV infection can improve the lives of women in the Territory and is an important imperative for the Territory linked to increased quality of life and productivity of the women and significant decreases in health care costs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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University of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas
United States
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Draughon, Jessica E; Lucea, Marguerite B; Campbell, Jacquelyn C et al. (2015) Impact of Intimate Partner Forced Sex on HIV Risk Factors in Physically Abused African American and African Caribbean Women. J Immigr Minor Health 17:1313-21
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