Street Outreach for HIV Prevention Effectiveness of a State-Wide Programme

Published in: International Journal of STD & AIDS, v. 14, no. 5, May 2003, p. 334-340

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Deborah A. Wendell, Deborah A. Cohen, Daphne Lesage, Thomas Farley

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Street outreach is considered a key HIV prevention strategy in the United States. To determine whether street outreach to prevent HIV infection as practised by state-funded community-based organizations (CBOs) is effective in promoting condom use, the authors conducted an evaluation using a quasi-experimental design. Twenty-one CBOs involved in street outreach conducted cross-sectional surveys assessing risk behaviour and exposure to outreach activities in 66 intervention and 13 comparison areas in Louisiana over a 2-year period. Surveys were collected from 4950 persons at intervention sites and 1597 persons at comparison sites. After controlling for demographic characteristics and sexual risk factors, persons in intervention sites were more likely to use condoms than persons in comparison sites [odds ratio 1.37 (95% confidence interval 1.20, 1.56; P <0.001)]. Contact with an outreach worker mediated condom use. The mechanism of effect may be related to direct contact with an outreach worker and condom distribution rather than to broader community mobilization.

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