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Developing community networks to deliver HIV prevention interventions.

  • Guenther-Grey, C
  • Noroian, D
  • Fonseka, J
  • Higgins, D
Published Article
Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1996
111 Suppl 1
PMID: 8862156


Outreach has a long history in health and social service programs as an important method for reaching at-risk persons within their communities. One method of "outreach" is based on the recruitment of networks of community members (or "networkers") to deliver HIV prevention messages and materials in the context of their social networks and everyday lives. This paper documents the experiences of the AIDS Community Demonstration Projects in recruiting networkers to deliver HIV prevention interventions to high-risk populations, including injecting drug users not in treatment; female sex partners of injecting drug users; female sex traders; men who have sex with men but do not self-identify as gay; and youth in high-risk situations. The authors interviewed project staff and reviewed project records of the implementation of community networks in five cities. Across cities, the projects successfully recruited persons into one or more community networks to distribute small media materials, condoms, and bleach kits, and encourage risk-reduction behaviors among community members. Networkers' continuing participation was enlisted through a variety of monetary and nonmonetary incentives. While continuous recruitment of networkers was necessary due to attrition, most interventions reported maintaining a core group of networkers. In addition, the projects appeared to serve as a starting point for some networkers to become more active in other community events and issues.

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