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Outcomes of a peer HIV prevention program with injection drug and crack users: the Risk Avoidance Partnership.

TitleOutcomes of a peer HIV prevention program with injection drug and crack users: the Risk Avoidance Partnership.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWeeks, Margaret R., Jianghong Li, Julia Dickson-Gomez, Mark Convey, Maria Martinez, Kim Radda, and Scott Clair
JournalSubstance use & misuse
Date Published2009
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Connecticut, Crack Cocaine, Female, HIV Infections, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Organizational Case Studies, Peer Group, Risk Reduction Behavior, Social Support, Substance Abuse, Intravenous, Young Adult
AbstractThe Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) Project conducted in Hartford, Connecticut, tested a program to train active drug injectors and crack cocaine users as "Peer Health Advocates" (PHAs) to deliver a modular HIV, hepatitis, and STI prevention intervention to hard-to-reach drug users in their networks and others in the city. The intervention was designed to diffuse health promotion and risk-reduction interventions by supporting PHAs to model prevention practices and deliver risk- and harm-reduction materials and information. We compared change in behaviors and attitudes between baseline and 6-month follow-up of 112 primarily African-American and Latino PHAs, 223 of their drug-user network contact referrals, and 118 other study recruits (total n = 523). Results indicated significant HIV risk reduction among all study participants, associated with significant health advocacy action conducted by PHAs, and a relationship between exposure to the RAP peer-delivered intervention and risk reduction among all study groups. Findings suggest that active drug users' engagement in peer health advocacy can set in motion a feedback and diffusion process that supports both the continued work of the PHAs and the adoption of harm reduction and mimicking of health advocacy by their peers.
Alternate JournalSubst Use Misuse

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