Women of color, particularly African American women, are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. African American women account for 66% of estimated AIDS cases among women, aged 13 and older, diagnosed in 2005, but only 12% of the U.S. population of women. Several behavioral prevention interventions tailored for African American women have shown efficacy in reducing sexual risk behaviors. Their successful replication has been hampered by cost, implementation difficulties, and participant retention issues. The proposed project seeks to address these barriers to reducing HIV/AIDS rates in African American females by developing and empirically validating computer enhanced, individualized versions of efficacious group-administered HIV prevention programs for African-American females. Specific objectives include: (1) to increase service agencies' ability to implement efficacious HIV interventions with fidelity; (2) to increase African American females' participation in efficacious HIV interventions; and, (3) ultimately, to reduce sexual risk behaviors and HIV infection rates among African-American females. In Phase I we developed a computer enhanced, individualized, multimedia version of SiSTA, a group-administered HIV prevention program for African- American women that has demonstrated efficacy in reducing sexual risk behavior. We called this computer version SAHARA, for Sistas Accessing HIV/AIDS Resources At-a-click. In Phase I we also successfully validated the effectiveness of SAHARA through a randomized controlled trial. In the proposed Phase II continuation, we will repeat these successful development and validation methods with two additional efficacious group programs for African American females: SiHLE (for adolescents age 14-18) and WiLLOW (for women living with HIV age 18 and older). Once again, Digitized SiHLE and Digitized WiLLOW will be developed and evaluated in collaboration with their developers, Drs. Gina Wingood and Ralph DiClemente. ? ?

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research will make efficacious HIV prevention programs for African American adolescents and women available to health service organizations at low cost, and will facilitate their cost-effective, faithful implementation. It will also promote community members' participation in the interventions by permitting sensitive topics to be addressed privately (i.e., one-on-one with the computer) and according to a flexible schedule. Ultimately, it will help to reduce sexual risk-taking behavior and HIV infection rates among African American women, who are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-G (15))
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Stirratt, Michael J
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Sociometrics Corporation
Los Altos
United States
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Klein, Charles H; Lomonaco, Carmela G; Pavlescak, Rik et al. (2013) WiLLOW: reaching HIV-positive African-American women through a computer-delivered intervention. AIDS Behav 17:3013-23
Card, Josefina J; Kuhn, Tamara; Solomon, Julie et al. (2011) Translating an effective group-based HIV prevention program to a program delivered primarily by a computer: methods and outcomes. AIDS Educ Prev 23:159-74
Klein, Charles H; Card, Josefina J (2011) Preliminary efficacy of a computer-delivered HIV prevention intervention for African American teenage females. AIDS Educ Prev 23:564-76