Community-based strategies are designed to help increase access to persons and small groups with the objective of educating and reinforcing protective behaviors (Salam, Haroon, Ahmed, Das, & Bhutta, 2014). These strategies provide the community with the opportunity to interact with health professionals, assess their risk to HIV, attain information, and attain communication and behavioral skills. Boyer et al., (2016) argue that community-based strategies on HIV are effective at-risk reduction through the generation of peer norms notions. Community-based interventions apply peer educators to reach young adults/teenagers and traditional health providers to reach persons living with HIV.
One of the critical factors of community-based interventions is community participation. HIV prevention programs require designs that increase their acceptability, institutional, and external support to ensure sustainability of talent and skills and infrastructure support, as well as, a commitment of target population that maintains the interventions (Salam, et al., 2014). In this case, the program will involve the target population by ensuring they are part of the decision making process. The cause of failure and ineffectiveness of majority community-based interventions on HIV is often due to lack of community participation.
An effective community-based strategy on HIV should successfully address the presenting issues and be beneficial to the target population. For this project, the target populations are young adults/teenagers and persons living with HIV. The applied community-based intervention strategy should include HIV related knowledge, increase sensitization of practicing safe sex to prevent HIV transmission, and reduce engaging in self-reported risk behaviors. Salam et al. (2014) explain that an efficient HIV prevention intervention is the one producing benefits at minimum cost. In addition, Salam et al. argue that the cost of a program can either be time and burden of the strategy to participants or financially related to the cost of material used.
The project will aim at reducing participants burden and time. Walsh (2014) establishes that reducing participants’ burden enhances attendance to the intervention program, adherence, and engagement to the achievements and recommendation of the positive outcomes. Hence, as a researcher, it is essential to determine the contribution of community-based interventions to formulate a strategy that is attractive to young adults and persons living with HIV. Additionally, attending this program will increase HIV knowledge and reduce risk behaviors, as well as, the rate of HIV transmission in the target population.
To boost the success of the interventions, the approach will be a theoretically informed approach. As a theory base, the project will be specifically designed for the target population. One advantage of the community-based approach is that it can employ multicomponent interventions (Salam et al., 2014). Including a multicomponent intervention in a community-based approach in HIV prevention and management, will increase HIV knowledge and promote safe sex practices. Salam et al. argue that a multicomponent intervention will include an education component to cover aspects on sexual and reproductive health, as well as, general information on HIV, like, transmission, prevention, and behavioral aspect discussing safer sexual practices (like use of condoms, reducing sexual partners, and sexual negotiation skills). Applying a multicomponent intervention among persons with HIV promotes symptoms of the population and increases the physical activity of individuals on Warfarin therapy (Walsh, 2014).
In addition to the education component, the project will explore the aspect of behavioral components. Walsh explains that incorporating a behavioral component on a community-based approach complements the education components, as it not only focuses on knowledge acquisition but also on behavior performance. Therefore, incorporating the two components in the intervention is likely to produce a synergistic effect. Due to this, the project will not only educate the target population but will also promote behavioral changes.
Boyer, C., Greenberg, L., Chutuape, K., Walker, B., Monte, D., Kirk, J., & Ellen, J. (2016). Exchange of Sex for Drugs or Money in Adolescents and Young Adults: An Examination of Sociodemographic Factors, HIV-Related Risk, and Community Context. Journal of Community Health, 42(1), 90-100. doi: 10.1007/s10900-016-0234-2
Salam, R., Haroon, S., Ahmed, H., Das, J., & Bhutta, Z. (2014). Impact of community-based interventions on HIV knowledge, attitudes, and transmission. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 3(1), 26. doi: 10.1186/2049-9957-3-26
Walsh, K. (2014). Impact of community-based interventions on HIV: the next steps. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 3(1). doi: 10.1186/2049-9957-3-34
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