Strong African American Families (SAAF) HIV Prevention Program

-
Investigator: Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD
Sponsor: University of Georgia

Location(s): United States

Description

 The Strong African American Families (SAAF) HIV prevention program is the first intervention developed specifically for rural African American youth and tested in a randomized prevention trial. Analyses of data gathered from rural African American families with middle-school-aged youth supported SAAF's efficacy in deterring youths' vulnerability to HIV-related risk behavior 2 years post-intervention. Some participants, however, experienced extensive barriers to attending the group-based prevention sessions, such as a lack of transportation, inflexible work schedules, exhausting jobs, and responsibility for the care of children other than the target youth. Recent advances in computer-based interactive technology offer a potentially effective means to implement SAAF that could overcome rural African American families' logistical and practical barriers to attending prevention program sessions. Rural African Americans' increasing access to and familiarity with computer technology make a computer-based version of SAAF a feasible option that would ultimately facilitate the program's large-scale diffusion. To implement a computer-based version of SAAF, Murry and Brody have partnered with Dr. M. Lightfoot from UCLA, who has experience in translating HIV prevention programming into a computer-based format. We propose to test the efficacy of a computer-based version of SAAF, SAAF-CD, and to determine the equivalence of the computer-based and group-based modalities in deterring youths' vulnerability to HIV- related risk behavior. We also will determine the relative cost-effectiveness of each intervention modality in delaying youths' onset of first sexual intercourse. The sample for this research will include 576 rural African American families with a 7th-grade student, randomly assigned to the group-based SAAF, SAAF-CD, or a minimal-intervention control group. Pretest, posttest, and long-term follow-up assessments of youths' vulnerability to HIV-related risk behavior will be gathered from the entire sample.