Through the proposed National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) project, the Louisiana Office of Public Health HIV/AIDS Program (OPH HAP) and its contracted partners will monitor risk behaviors and access to prevention services in three target populations who are at risk for HIV infection (men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDU) and high-risk heterosexuals (HET)) in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Data collected through this project will contribute to a national system that will ultimately be used to direct and evaluate local and national HIV prevention efforts. In addition, the project will assist in evaluating individuals' access to and knowledge of local HIV prevention programs. Finally, the project will complement current activities conducted by HAP to systematically assess the revitalization and changes in risk behavior in particular neighborhoods of the city following hurricane Katrina. OPH HAP will coordinate with CDC and other grantees to implement protocols that will monitor factors that place people at higher risk for HIV. For each cycle, 500 eligible persons will be recruited using respondent-driven or venue-based, time/space sampling methods in the New Orleans metropolitan statistical area. A standardized questionnaire that examines factors such as sexual behavior, drug-use, attitudes towards testing and condom use, social and sexual networks, partner characteristics, and HIV status and testing history will be administered to all participants. Rapid oral HIV testing (with confirmatory Western blot for reactive specimens) will be provided to all participants and testing data will be linked to survey results. A valuable component of this project will be its formative ethnographic and assessment activities, which will include the systematic collection of both quantitative and qualitative data about the target population and the areas in which they reside or in which they have social ties. Information gathered by documenting indicators of neighborhood recovery, as well as through interviews with community members and focus groups with community partners will assist the project's staff in implementing activities that will lead to the accomplishment of project goals. HAP will also collaborate with CDC, other grantees, and local and national university partners to evaluate and further refine NHBS protocols. In summary, these combined activities will enhance the current capacity to inform and direct HIV prevention activities on a local level. Moreover, when the data are collectively analyzed across all sites in the country, the result will be a consistent, ongoing, externally valid surveillance system to be used to make programmatic decisions to control the spread of HIV.
Surveillance of HIV Risk Behaviors in Four Populations: National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, New Orleans, Louisiana Through the proposed National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) project, the Louisiana Office of Public Health HIV/AIDS Program (OPH HAP) and its contracted partners will monitor risk behaviors and access to prevention services in three target populations who are at risk for HIV infection (men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDU) and high-risk heterosexuals (HET)) in the New Orleans metropolitan area. These efforts will provide needed data to inform and direct local and national HIV prevention and service programs.