The Treatment Advocacy Program-Sinai: A Peer-Based HIV Prevention Intervention for Working with African American HIV-Infected Persons
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As HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately affect African American communities, there is a growing need for empirically based, culturally appropriate, tailored interventions for this clientele. As part of a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) initiative to increase prevention amongst those living with HIV, we implemented the Treatment Advocacy Program Intervention at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, IL, USA. The main goal of the intervention was to help patients increase their medication adherence and sexual safety skills. This paper describes the rationale for implementing this peer-based HIV-prevention intervention, discusses how the intervention was tailored to work within our low socio-economic status, urban patient population, and reviews the training and quality assurance activities needed to integrate the intervention into our primary care clinic. We review the intervention content in detail, including the structure of the multiple, one-on-one education sessions, and the core topics covered (medication adherence and sexual safety). Finally, we discuss the challenges in implementing this program, many of which arise from the chaotic social situations that our patients experience.