PRC researchers developed a curriculum to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention among African-American men and women living in metropolitan Atlanta. The curriculum was based on the PRC’s research on HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of African American women living in Atlanta. The curriculum also addresses public health goals such as cultural connectedness, healthy attitudes and behaviors, and effective communication between the sexes about safe sex.
Two hundred heterosexual African-American men and women (aged 18–44 years) who were sexually active were recruited by PRC-trained community health workers and PRC Community Coalition Board members from neighborhood organizations, businesses, and churches as well as through local media advertisements. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group that received the co-educational program delivered by a male and female facilitator or control group (no special program). The program’s seven sessions were held at PRC partner sites. During the sessions, each group of about 10 men and women viewed video segments, participated in role playing, discussed personal beliefs and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS (such as attitudes and beliefs related to interpersonal communication and cultural influences on behavior), and explored the causes and effects of the disease in the African- American community.
A survey, based on input from focus groups and pilot test results, was given to both groups of participants before and after the seven-session program. The survey measured nine variables: sexual behavior, beliefs and attitudes about condom use, HIV risk knowledge, perceived personal HIV risk, perceived HIV risk of sexual partners, substance abuse behavior, peer norms about safe sex, conversations with sexual partners, and demographic characteristics of the respondents.
Preliminary analysis shows greater improvement in several variables for the intervention versus control group participants. The PRC continues to promote HIV risk reduction in metropolitan Atlanta communities.