The purpose of this SBIR Phase I proposal is to develop a targeted intervention addressing the need for HIV education, awareness, and prevention among English and Spanish-speaking women age 50 and older. The proposed project, HIV Prevention PROWESS (Program Regarding Older Women's Education for Sexual Safety) is aligned with NIDA's mission and goal to develop innovative technologies for drug abuse treatment, HIV risk reduction, and training clinicians. Because substance abuse and HIV/AIDS is increasingly common among older adult women in the United States, and because research shows that many healthcare providers do not routinely screen older patients for substance abuse and HIV, Social Solutions has chosen to focus the proposed intervention on increasing public awareness of HIV among women over 50 and educating older women and their healthcare providers about HIV risk among individuals 50 and older. The proposed HIV Prevention PROWESS program will be a primary care-based intervention that includes a variety of written and print materials, including, but not limited to, patient education brochures, provider training materials, provider talking points, formatted provider contact note, provider """"""""prescription pads,"""""""" follow-up reminders for providers, and awareness posters. To ensure relevance and acceptability of the HIV Prevention PROWESS toolkit among older women, healthcare providers, and the general population, Social Solutions will convene an Expert Advisory Panel;conduct a literature review of the most recent research and analyze existing resources for women 50 and older and healthcare providers;conduct a focus group with HIV positive older women;conduct a focus group with women 50 and older to identify HIV knowledge, fears, educational needs, and acceptable intervention components;conduct a needs assessment with healthcare providers to determine what kinds of HIV awareness and educational materials they use, prefer, and need;draft preliminary content of toolkit materials, in consultation with the EAP, including, but not limited to, smartphone/PDA application, CDROM/website materials, patient education brochure, awareness posters, provider training materials, provider talking points, formatted provider contact note, and follow-up reminders for providers;and conduct pilot tests with women 50 and older and their healthcare providers to determine acceptability and feasibility of toolkit materials developed.
HIV among older adults is a significant and complicated health problem in the U.S. Lack of knowledge, stigma, physiological status, high-risk behavior, and inadequate diagnosis and healthcare contribute to the growing numbers of women age 50 and above living with HIV and AIDS. Because older women lack knowledge about HIV transmission, they often engage, unknowingly, in high-risk behaviors: injection drug use is second to high risk heterosexual contact as the mode of HIV/AIDS transmission among older women. The purpose of this project is to develop an innovative andtargeted intervention, facilitated through primary care providers, to address the need for HIV education, awareness, and prevention among English and Spanish-speaking women age 50 and older.