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PACIFIC INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND EVALUATION


    

Liberia


Feasibility of Adapting a Female-Based Program for Young Women in Liberia


Principal Investigator:

Stephen B. Kennedy

Sponsor:

Corporate Development Fund, PIRE
01/01/08 - 06/30/12
The goal of this project was to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the feasibility of adapting an effective, gender-focused HIV/STD prevention program, Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS (SISTA), for young urban women in Monrovia, Liberia. The feasibility of using Audio-Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI) technology was also assessed for survey administration.

 

HIV/STD Prevention for High-Risk Youth in Liberia


Principal Investigator:

Stephen B. Kennedy

Sponsor:

NICHHD
09/02/06 - 06/30/12
The goal of this project is to prevent HIV/STD among youth in Liberia. The project has two specific aims: (1) the primary aim is to culturally adapt, implement, and rigorously evaluate an effective HIV/STD intervention program among high-risk Liberian youth aged 15-17 years; and (2) the secondary aim is to increase the capacity of the Liberian research team and community stakeholders to successfully implement the proposed study. Eligible youth will be recruited from schools within the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) and youth-serving organizations (YSOs) in Montserrado County-which includes Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia-and randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Making Proud Choices (intervention) and a General Health Program (control). Making Proud Choices (MPC) is a research-based, 8-module, behavioral-based program that stresses HIV/STD risk reduction among high-risk youth of diverse cultural backgrounds. The General Health Program (GHP) is an 8-module health program that provides basic information on the prevention of common health conditions that affect Liberian youth. All intervention material will be developed and/or adapted by the research team based on extensive literature review and prior research. The intervention and control conditions will be administered to youth in separate small group settings by trained program co-facilitators and then evaluated at baseline, program completion, and at 6- and 12 month post-intervention follow-ups. Outcome measures will assess primary outcomes (frequency of unprotected sexual intercourse and condom use) and secondary outcomes (e.g., HIV/STD protective knowledge, self-efficacy, and social competency skills). Process measures will assess implementation quality and various program characteristics and dynamics. Capacity building activities will revolve around the cultural adaptation, behavioral theories, and effective implementation of the proposed HIV/STD intervention research project. Products developed from this project (i.e., manuals, brochures, reports, and manuscripts) will be disseminated at workshops, shared with community stakeholders and the national government at an end-user conference in Liberia, presented at regional conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals.

 

Liberia School-Based HIV/STD Prevention Program


Principal Investigator:

Stephen B. Kennedy

Sponsor:

NIMH
04/01/08 - 03/31/11
This application is for a two year study to adapt and evaluate the efficacy of a HIV prevention curriculum for 7th grade in-school Liberian youths, ages 14-16 years. The proposed intervention draws on an evidence-based curriculum, Making Proud Choices (Jemmott et al., 1998) that is currently being adapted in other Sub-Saharan African countries (e.g., Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, Liberia, etc.). The proposed study has three aims: (1) Adapt an evidence-based HIV prevention program, designed for community settings in the US, to be delivered in school classrooms in Liberia; (2) Evaluate the impact of the HIV prevention intervention on proximal and primary outcomes including delay sexual initiation, increasing condom use and changes in proximal variables including attitudes, intentions and self efficacy; and (3) Assess the characteristics of program implementation fidelity and its relationship to changes in behavioral outcomes. During the first eight months of the proposed two-year study, we will adapt this community-based curriculum to school-based settings and contexts within Liberia. Members of community-based organizations, health educators, school administrators and 7th-grade students will provide data to guide the integration and cultural adaptation of the curriculum through focus groups and one-on-one key informant interviews. Over the next 16 months we will conduct a cohort study to assess the impact of this adapted curriculum on changing sexual risk behaviors using a randomized controlled group design with schools as the restricted assignment unit. Four matched pairs of junior high schools will be randomly assigned to either an HIV prevention intervention or a comparison general health condition to assess the impact of the intervention on increasing condom use and delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse among Liberian youth (n0). We will also assess the fidelity of curriculum implementation and its impact on behavioral outcomes. Through rigorous evaluation of the adapted HIV prevention curriculum, we hope to reduce sexual risk behaviors of in-school youth. By assessing the curriculum fidelity and its impact on behavioral outcomes, we will advance the field's understanding of the relationship of implementation fidelity and behavior change in resource deprived environments. Working with our Liberian investigators to implement and evaluate this intervention, we expect to continually build the social and behavioral research capacities of Liberian researchers and their research institutions.

 

Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) Risk Behaviors in Liberia


Principal Investigator:

Stephen B. Kennedy

Sponsor:

Corporate Development Fund, PIRE
01/01/08 - 06/30/12
The goal of this project was to examine the health-related issues of urban adult men who have sex with men (MSM) in Monrovia, Liberia; identify the behavioral and service delivery factors that place them at risk for HIV/STDs; and utilize the information to guide program development and policy formulation.

 

Partnership to Enhance University of Liberia Human Subject Protection System


Principal Investigator:

Stephen B. Kennedy

Sponsor:

NCRR/NIH
01/01/03 - 06/30/12
This goal of this project was to share PIRE's technology, knowledge and expertise with a collaborating research partner, the University of Liberia, by assisting the University of Liberia to establish a human subjects' protection program and train Liberian investigators on procedures for conducting safe and ethical-based research in order to adequately protect human subjects in research projects.