Women living with HIV (WLH) face challenges related to stigma, disclosure of HIV status, and negotiating safer sex. Several effective behavioral interventions, such as Healthy Relationships (HR), help WLH address these challenges and are disseminated by the USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions project. However, many WLH living in poor urban or rural locations cannot access interventions such as HR because implementation is not feasible. Video-conferencing technology holds promise for expanding access to effective behavioral interventions for WLH. Following a systematic adaptation to the video-conferencing format, this pilot study tested the delivery of HR via video-group (VG) among WLH. The video-conferencing-based intervention, HR-VG, consisted of six, two-hour sessions led by two facilitators, and used structured activities and video-clips to build disclosure and safer sex skills. Four minority WLH received HR-VG at four different community-based intervention sites in a private room equipped with a video-phone for participating in HR-VG and a desktop computer for completing assessments via Audio Computer-Assisted Self Interview. Participants completed a baseline assessment prior to HR-VG and post-session assessment after each HR-VG session. The post-intervention assessment and video-focus group were completed following the last HR-VG session. Facilitators completed an assessment after each HR-VG session and an open-ended questionnaire following HR-VG. HR-VG was implemented in its entirety with minimal challenges. Both participants and facilitators reported feeling either "very comfortable" or "completely comfortable" with the technology and the overall intervention. Participants also reported high levels of unity and togetherness among the group. These preliminary findings suggest VG delivery of HR for WLH is both feasible and highly valued by participants. A follow-up randomized controlled trial is under way to test the feasibility and efficacy of HR-VG with a larger sample of WLH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health