This is an R21 exploratory/developmental application Rates of AIDS in the Caribbean Basin are second only to those in Sub-Saharan Africa In the U S Virgin Islands, rates are also high, and are increasing especially fast among women For the period July 1999 - June 2000, the rate of newly reported cases of AIDS among men in the Virgin Islands was 679 per 100,000 population, ranking it third (after Washington, D C and New York) among the United States and its territories The rate for women was 340 per 100,000, ranking it second (after Washington, D C) HIV/AIDS prevention research has never been conducted in the U S Virgin Islands, and to date there are no programs which address the cultural issues and prevention barriers specific to African-Caribbean islanders in general, and to Virgin Islanders in particular As such, and with the support of the Virgin Islands Department of Health, the Women's Coalition of St Croix, the Men's Coalition of the Virgin Islands, the University of the Virgin Islands and theVl Medical Institute, the aims of the proposed research are to 1) determine the nature and extent of HIV risk behaviors within populations of sexually active, drug and/or alcoholinvolved, women and men in St Croix, U SVl, 2) develop and test the appropriateness and acceptability of culturally relevant HIV prevention/interventions for the target populations, and 3) explore the feasibility of QraSure HIV testing These aims will be accomplished by a) collecting baseline data on drug-using and sexual behaviors, HIV risks, and other life experiences from 100 women and 100 men who appear to be at high risk for HIV infection, b) conducting focus groups with key informants in the health and human services fields as well as representatives of religious and police organizations, and members of the target populations to determine the supports, barriers, and impediments to safe sex, drug use, and HIV testing, c) developing female-oriented and male-oriented HIV interventions based on the input from the target populations, and d) assessing the cultural appropriateness and suitability of the resulting interventions through focus groups with key informants and members of the target populations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Jones, Dionne
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University of Delaware
Social Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Surratt, Hilary L; Inciardi, James A (2005) Developing an HIV intervention for indigent women substance abusers in the United States Virgin Islands. J Urban Health 82:iv74-83
Surratt, H L; Inciardi, J A; Weaver, J C et al. (2005) Emerging linkages between substance abuse and HIV infection in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. AIDS Care 17 Suppl 1:S26-35