Development of an opinion leader-led HIV prevention intervention among alcohol users in Chennai, India.
ABSTRACT In 1999, we began a community-based randomized controlled prevention trial in Chennai, which aims to test the efficacy of HIV prevention messages disseminated through members of an individual's social group called community popular opinion leaders, or CPOLs. We targeted patrons of 100 bars or wine shops in the city of Chennai, India. In this article we report on the process of development of an HIV prevention intervention for wine shop patrons. First, we conducted detailed ethnography to understand social norms and CPOL and social network characteristics, including 41 in-depth interviews among wine shop patrons and gatekeepers. Second, we tailored a generic HIV education training manual to appropriately address the needs of Chennai wine shop patrons. Field-testing involved 16 focus groups with wine shop patrons and 12 sessions of participant observations in wine shops. Finally, we piloted the intervention to determine the appropriateness of the training program and its content among wine shop patrons. Our ethnographic data indicated that wine shops are a common meeting place for men. We were able to identify CPOLs influential in these settings and train them to deliver appropriate prevention messages to their close friends and associates. We found that HIV prevention messages in this population need to dispel misperceptions about HIV transmission, provide strategies and skills to adopt and sustain condom use, and target the role of alcohol in sexual behavior. We outline specific lessons we learned in intervention development in this population.
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ABSTRACT: To review the patterns, contexts and impacts of alcohol use associated with commercial sex reported in the global literature. We identified peer-reviewed English-language articles from 1980 to 2008 reporting alcohol consumption among female sex workers (FSWs) or male clients. We retrieved 70 articles describing 76 studies, in which 64 were quantitative (52 for FSWs, 12 for male clients) and 12 qualitative. Studies increased over the past three decades, with geographic concentration of the research in Asia and North America. Alcohol use was prevalent among FSWs and clients. Integrating quantitative and qualitative studies, multilevel contexts of alcohol use in the sex work environment were identified, including workplace and occupation-related use, the use of alcohol to facilitate the transition into and practice of commercial sex among both FSWs and male clients, and self-medication among FSWs. Alcohol use was associated with adverse physical health, illicit drug use, mental health problems, and victimization of sexual violence, although its associations with HIV/sexually transmitted infections and unprotected sex among FSWs were inconclusive. Alcohol use in the context of commercial sex is prevalent, harmful among FSWs and male clients, but under-researched. Research in this area in more diverse settings and with standardized measures is required. The review underscores the importance of integrated intervention for alcohol use and related problems in multilevel contexts and with multiple components in order to effectively reduce alcohol use and its harmful effects among FSWs and their clients.Alcohol and Alcoholism 02/2010; 45(2):188-99. DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agp095 · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There are no studies that examine street-based female sex workers' vulnerability to HIV from both clients and intimate partners. This study documents street-based female sex workers' experiences of client and intimate partners, examines the intersections of violence, alcohol use in condom use, and highlights survival strategies used to avert harm. Ethnographic data were collected from 49 female sex workers through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. Female sex workers experienced multifarious forms of severe client and intimate partner violence. Sexual coercion and forced group sex in the context of alcohol use posed formidable barriers for condom use negotiation. Further, traditional gender norms dictated women's inabilities to negotiate condom-use with intimate partners. However, there was evidence of adoption of successful survival strategies in the face of danger and women's positive evaluations of the benefits of sex work and their contributions to family well-being. Harm reduction efforts with female sex workers need to account for their vulnerability to HIV from intimate partners in addition to clients. HIV prevention programmes need to include male clients in order to reduce harm among street-based female sex workers. There is an urgent need to build on sex workers' strengths and involve them in designing individual level, community, and structural interventions that could help in reducing women's vulnerability to intimate partner violence and HIV in India.The International journal on drug policy 05/2008; 19(2):106-12. DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.11.013 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In India, heterosexual transmission accounts for approximately 80% of the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Male alcohol use and its putative association with sexual risk are explored to inform HIV prevention interventions. A survey of 1196 male patrons of wine shops or bars was conducted from August 2002-January 2003 as part of an ongoing HIV prevention trial in Chennai city in south India. In the analysis, we explored associations between covariates related to sexual behavior and alcohol use and our outcome of unprotected sexual intercourse with non-regular partners among men. Nearly half (43%) of the respondents reported any unprotected sex with non-regular partners and 24% had four or more recent sexual partners. Over 85% reported using alcohol at least 10 days a month (17% reported drinking everyday). During a typical drinking day, 49% reported consuming five or more drinks. Alcohol use before sex was reported by 89% of respondents. Unprotected sex with non-regular partners was significantly higher among unmarried men (OR=3.25), those who reported irregular income (OR=1.38), who used alcohol before sex (OR=1.75) and who had higher numbers of sexual partners (OR=14.5). Our findings suggest that future HIV prevention interventions in India might consider discussing responsible alcohol use and its possible role in sexual risk. These interventions should particularly consider involving unmarried men and weigh the role of structural factors such as access to income in developing prevention messages.Drug and Alcohol Dependence 05/2008; 94(1-3):133-41. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.11.016 · 3.28 Impact Factor