Center for AIDS Research

India (Rosy Chhabra)

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Application of STEP: An Alcohol and HIV Prevention Education Program to Prevent HIV Infection of At-risk Adolescents in Mumbai, India

The objective of the project "STEP: An Alcohol and HIV Prevention Program" is to develop a program to prevent HIV risk behaviors and alcohol abuse among adolescents in India responsive to the cultural and socioeconomic issues that place adolescents there at risk for both alcohol abuse and HIV transmission. SPECIFIC AIMS Aim 1: To develop and implement a school-based curriculum that focuses on the interrelated epidemics of alcohol and HIV. The program will be suited to the cultural and social needs of young Indian adolescents in the 9th grade. Aim 2: To identify school-level characteristics of readiness and capacity which impede or facilitate the implementation and evaluation of an alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS program. Aim 3: To assess whether and how Indian adolescent's risk-related attitudes and beliefs, knowledge of disease process, and preferred communication strategies differ according to age, gender, socioeconomic status and cultural factors. Aim 4: To determine whether our new adolescent Alcohol and HIV prevention education program increases adolescent understanding of risk factors, disease process, and psychological impact in both areas of alcohol use and HIV infection. Aim 5: To identify differences in alcohol abuse and HIV risk behavior between adolescents who receive the new program compared with students who receive the standard curriculum. In this project, our team of investigators from the U.S. and India will work together to design, implement and evaluate a manualized intervention that combines successful alcohol abuse and HIV prevention curricula. Our proposed project builds upon a school-based training model that has been developed and used in India by the STEP and DRE programs. The program will train trainers (i.e., about 50 undergraduate students in Mumbai) who in turn will teach adolescents in 100 schools (9 graders in local schools) about alcohol abuse and HIV prevention information and the adolescents will be encouraged to share this information with peers and families.

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