Reducing Urban Women's HIV Risk: Soap Opera Videos on Video-Capable Cell Phones According to the CDC, the majority (80%) of women with HIV became infected by unprotected sex with an infected male partner. Black and Latina women accounted for 82% of AIDS diagnoses in women in 2005. The purpose of this proposal is to evaluate whether a series of 12-weekly data and theory-based urban soap operas will promote a reduction in HIV sex risk behavior in young urban African American and Latina women. Toni's Story is based on content analysis of focus group discussions with the target population. By grounding stories in urban women's own experiences, via a popular medium of the soap opera, women can identify with the heroines'emotionally charged process of change, transforming their behavior through a new awareness of their value as women, of their choices, and their potential. Messages about reducing HIV sexual risk are designed to fulfill familiar relationship needs. Because trust, sexual pressure and power form the nexus of sex scripts associated with HIV sexual risk, these themes are examined through the pursuits of the various characters as sub-plots. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 250 high-risk women aged 18 to 29, recruited in neighborhood settings in Newark and Jersey City, will be conducted to test the effect of the video-based intervention on HIV sexual risk behavior. A control group will receive text messages with audio that stress HIV health promotion messages. The series of 12 20-minute videos to the video intervention group (n=125) and 12- weekly HIV-risk reduction text/ audio messages to the control group (n=125) will be viewed over video-capable cell phones so that women may view the videos and text messages repeatedly and in privacy. It is expected that as a result of watching the video series, the video intervention group will demonstrate greater reductions in unprotected sex from baseline to 3 and 6 months than will the control group. Further, it is expected that they will demonstrate lower sexual pressure, indicating lower stereotypical expectations to engage in unprotected sex. Secondary analyses will determine whether there are differences in these results by partner type, whether there is a reduction in the number of high risk sex partners, and whether choosing to watch the videos more frequently will relate to further reduction in risk behavior. Interviews will be conducted by audio computer assisted self-interview (ACASI). The program will track when, how often, and for how long the videos are viewed. If the aims of this proposal are achieved, the use of the cell phone to view videos could change the paradigm of how health promotion is amplified between clinic sessions. Potentially hard to reach young urban women who may be at risk for HIV, will be able to access video-based interventions on their own cell phones. The popularity of the cell phone and use of the Internet for multimedia offer a new communication channel to address health disparities in young urban women.

Public Health Relevance

Relevance to Public Health According to the CDC, the majority (80%) of women with HIV became infected by unprotected sex with an infected male partner. Black women and Latinas accounted for 82% of AIDS diagnoses in women in 2005. Toni's Story is a series of 12 urban soap opera videos that communicates messages about reducing HIV sexual risk. By grounding the stories in women's relationship experiences, via a popular medium of the soap opera, women can identify with the heroines'emotionally charged process of change. The videos will be streamed to video-capable cell phones so that they can be viewed repeatedly and in privacy. If the aims of this proposal are achieved, potentially hard to reach young urban women who may be at risk for HIV will be able to access health promotion videos on their own cell phones. The popularity of the cell phone and use of the Internet for multimedia provide a new communication channel to address health disparities.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01NR010860-04
Application #
8197430
Study Section
Behavioral and Social Science Approaches to Preventing HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSPH)
Program Officer
Hardy, Lynda R
Project Start
2008-12-01
Project End
2012-08-31
Budget Start
2011-12-01
Budget End
2012-08-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$33,139
Indirect Cost
$11,690
Name
Rutgers University
Department
None
Type
Schools of Nursing
DUNS #
130029205
City
Newark
State
NJ
Country
United States
Zip Code
07102