Efficacy of a woman-focused intervention to reduce HIV risk and increase self-sufficiency among African American crack abusers

Article

Focus Areas: Health & Wellness Educating Girls & Women Economic Empowerment

OBJECTIVES: This study compares 3- and 6-month outcomes of a woman-focused HIV intervention for crack abusers, a revised National Institute on Drug Abuse standard intervention, and a control group.

METHODS: Out-of-drug-treatment African American women (n = 620) who use crack participated in a randomized field experiment. Risk behavior, employment, and housing status were assessed with linear and logistic regression.

RESULTS: All groups significantly reduced crack use and high-risk sex at each follow-up, but only woman-focused intervention participants consistently improved employment and housing status. Compared with control subjects at 6 months, woman-focused intervention participants were least likely to engage in unprotected sex; revised standard intervention women reported greatest reductions in crack use.

CONCLUSIONS: A woman-focused intervention can successfully reduce risk and facilitate employment and housing and may effectively reduce the frequency of unprotected sex in the longer term.

Wechsberg, W. M., W. K. Lam, W. A. Zule and G. Bobashev (2004). "Efficacy of a woman-focused intervention to reduce HIV risk and increase self-sufficiency among African American crack abusers." Am J Public Health 94(7): 1165-1173.

Experts

Wendee Wechsberg

“We must listen to the communities, the local people, to understand culturally what is going to fit and what is going to be the language of the research, and not just say we know what to do here.”