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Penn researchers run successful HIV intervention project in S. Africa
Date:1/17/2014

A large-scale human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intervention/education effort aimed at helping South African men take a proactive role in the prevention of that disease has proven successful, an important development considering that country has the largest number of HIV infections in the world.

Researchers, led by Prof. John B. Jemmott, III, Annenberg School for Communication and the Perelman School of Medicine; and Loretta Sweet Jemmott from Penn Nursing Science* developed an invention involving nearly 1,200 individuals, who participated in customized and proactive education programs on condom usage and the importance of discussing safe sex in their relationships. The results of their study are being reported this week in the American Journal of Public Health (Volume 104, Issue 2).

Nearly 1,200 individuals in 44 neighborhoods near East London in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa participated in the program and follow-up surveys conducted over a 12-month period. Approximately half participated in an HIV/STI (sexually transmitted infection) risk reduction invention, and half in a general health information (control) intervention.

Participants were recruited via community meetings and public gathering places such as marketplaces, taxi stands, and shebeens (after-hours drinking clubs). The intervention programs, called "Men, Together Making a Difference," were conducted in native isiXhosa tongue (language using intermittent clicking sounds as part of its lexicon). The intervention sessions involved rituals such as beginning with a "Circle of Men," which enabled all participants, regardless of age or economic status, to develop stronger bonds. Additional components of the HIV/STI prevention included a video magazine, "The Subject Is: HIV," addressing the impact of the disease in South Africa; a video drama "Eiyish!," addressing dangers of multiple partners and the failure to use condoms; take-home assignments; and in-class role-play
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Contact: Joseph J. Diorio
jdiorio@asc.upenn.edu
215-746-1798
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
Source:Eurekalert  

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Penn researchers run successful HIV intervention project in S. Africa
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