In fact, the prevalence of HIV infection among HHR in New York City has been found to be very high. Our research team, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has conducted surveillance with this population as part of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) studies, led by Dr. Holly Hagan, a Professor at the College of Nursing. In the 2006-2007 study the NHBS found that over 7% of HHR in high-risk areas in New York City were infected with HIV, and only about 5% were aware of their diagnoses.
"Even more striking, the NHBS study found that 11% of those in central Brooklyn were HIV-infected but did not know their status," said Dr. Marya Gwadz, a Senior Research Scientist at the College of Nursing, and the peer-driven intervention study's Principal Investigator. "These findings inspired us to focus our efforts on this vulnerable population, and to concentrate on central Brooklyn, an area considered 'high risk' because of its elevated rates of poverty and a high HIV prevalence."
Gwadz and her research team, which includes Dr. Charles Cleland, Dr. Holly Hagan, Dr. Ann Kurth, and Dr. Noelle Leonard of the College of Nursing, and Dr. David Perlman of Beth Israel Medical Center, will build on the NHBS methodology, which uses a peer referral method called "respondent driven sampling," to seek out and test HHR for HIV. Further, it will combine this recruitment method with peer education activities that can be conducted during the course of peer recruitment. These peer education activities are designed to increase an individual's motivation to join the study, be tested for HIV, and receive care in a timely fashion if HIV-infected. This is followed by patient navigation, an approach to support access to care, for those found to be HIV infected.
The peer-driven intervention is tailored
|Contact: Christopher James|
New York University