African American (AA) women are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDs. The major risk factor for HIV acquisition among AA women is high-risk heterosexual sex, including unprotected vaginal and anal sex, and sex with a high-risk partner. Hazardous alcohol use has been associated with high risk sexual behaviors and prevalent gonorrhea among women attending an urban STI clinic, both of which increase a woman's vulnerability to HIV acquisition and transmission. This application proposes a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a culturally tailored computer-directed brief alcohol intervention (CBI) enhanced with cell-phone booster calls using interactive voice response technology (IVR) among HIV- infected and at-risk AA women attending an urban STI Clinic. Hazardous drinking AA women (N=600) presenting with STI complaints will be randomized to one of three arms: 1) usual clinical care, 2) clinic-based, CBI, or 3) clinic- based, CBI + 3 booster calls using IVR. The CBI, an evidence-based based method for behavior change, will use principles of motivational interviewing, to counsel on: 1) alcohol use and 2) associated HIV/STI risk behaviors. Primary outcomes, measured at 3, 6, and 12 month intervals, include alcohol-related risk behaviors (number of binge drinking episodes, drinking days/week, and drinks per occasion), sexual risk behaviors (number of partners, episodes of unprotected vaginal/anal sex, episodes of sex while high), and occurrence of HIV/STI biomarkers. Prior to implementing the RCT, the CBI and IVR software messages will be revised to: 1) include the association between hazardous alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors, and 2) ensure their relevance and acceptability using quantitative/qualitative feedback from a sample of AA women attending a Baltimore City STI clinic. The proposed research focuses on a particularly vulnerable population of urban HIV at-risk and HIV-infected AA women seeking treatment in a public STI clinic and examines two novel BI intervention delivery strategies specifically tailored to be culturally/socially relevant to this minority population. If the intervention(s) prove to be effective, study findings will offer """"""""real life"""""""" specialty care clinics a screening and intervention package that is practical, low cost, and easy to implement.

Public Health Relevance

Binge drinking is associated with sexually transmitted infections (STI) among women. Brief alcohol interventions offered in clinics specializing in STI could reach many African American women either at-risk for or infected with HIV. This clinical trial will assess the effectiveness of computer delivered brief alcohol intervention and booster phone calls, which if effective, could be implemented widely in clinical settings to reduce alcohol use and other behaviors that place women at risk for HIV.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSCH)
Program Officer
Roach, Deidra
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Johns Hopkins University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Lee, Kristen; Hutton, Heidi E; Lesko, Catherine R et al. (2018) Associations of Drug Use, Violence, and Depressive Symptoms with Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Women with Alcohol Misuse. Womens Health Issues 28:367-374
Lewis, Dinah; Hutton, Heidi E; Agee, Tracy A et al. (2015) Alcohol Use and Unintended Sexual Consequences among Women Attending an Urban Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic. Womens Health Issues 25:450-7
Hutton, Heidi E; McCaul, Mary E; Norris, Jeanette et al. (2015) Sex-Related Alcohol Expectancies Among African American Women Attending an Urban STI Clinic. J Sex Res 52:580-9
Chander, Geetanjali; Hutton, Heidi E; Lau, Bryan et al. (2015) Brief Intervention Decreases Drinking Frequency in HIV-Infected, Heavy Drinking Women: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 70:137-45