HIV/AIDS is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in South Africa1,2, where an estimated one in five adults are HIV positive. Young people bear a particularly high disease burden: 34% of new cases of HIV occur among those 15-24 years of age. Moreover, it is estimated that if the current HIV infection rates remain stable in South Africa, 50% of 15-year-olds alive today will die from AIDS. The impact that HIV is having on South African adolescents cannot be overstated. Several researchers have recently noted that adolescent-focused interventions in South Africa are not having an impact as effective as desired. Certainly, intervention delivery mechanisms that are low-cost, scalable, and modifiable to reflect changing behavioral trends, such as the Internet and text messaging, should be considered as additional tools to add to the arsenal of available HIV prevention programs. As the first step in designing such an HIV prevention program, this R03 proposes to conduct a quantitative survey among 1,500 grade school youth in South Africa. Findings will identify opportunities that technology may pose for HIV prevention message delivery. This R03 will serve as a launching pad for a subsequent R01 proposing the design of a HIV prevention program that is culturally sensitive, as well as developmentally and technologically relevant for adolescents in South Africa.

Public Health Relevance

HIV/AIDS is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality for adolescents living in South Africa. New approaches to HIV prevention are needed. Now is the time to develop technology- based HIV prevention programs in resource-limited countries. Given the rapidity with which technology use is changing however, it is unclear whether the Internet or text messaging is the preferred delivery mechanism. Our proposed research project will identify opportunities to use technology as a novel message delivery mechanism with South African adolescents.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
1R03MH094238-01
Application #
8141070
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-F (02))
Program Officer
Pequegnat, Willo
Project Start
2011-09-01
Project End
2013-08-31
Budget Start
2011-09-01
Budget End
2013-08-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$76,790
Indirect Cost
Name
Center for Innovative Public Health Research
Department
Type
DUNS #
137263013
City
San Clemente
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92672
Ybarra, Michele L; Mwaba, Kelvin; Prescott, Tonya L et al. (2014) Opportunities for technology-based HIV prevention programming among high school students in Cape Town, South Africa. AIDS Care 26:1562-7