Adapting an evidence-based intervention for HIV to avail access to testing and risk-reduction counseling for female victims of sexual violence in post-earthquake Haiti.AIDS Care 2016; 28(2):250-6AC
Haiti has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. Before the 2010 earthquake, Haitian women bore a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS, had lower HIV knowledge, less capacity to negotiate for safer sex, and limited access to HIV testing and risk-reduction (RR) counseling. Since 2010, there has been an increase in sexual violence against women, characterized by deliberate vaginal injuries by non-intimate partners, increasing victims' risk of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Needed is an adaptation of evidence-based interventions for HIV that include HIV testing and counseling for this stigmatized population. We reviewed several features of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 103 evidence-based interventions for HIV (e.g., measures used, participant risk characteristics, theoretical framework, outcome variables, and evidence tier) in an attempt to seek a feasibly adaptable evidence-based intervention for HIV that could be used for victims of sexual violence (VOSV). RESPECT, one of the reviewed evidence-based HIV interventions, comprises of one-on-one, client-focused HIV prevention/RR counseling, and RAPID HIV testing. Adapting RESPECT can enhance access to testing for Haitian VOSV and can influence their perceptions of HIV risk, and establishment of RR goals for future consensual intimate relations. Adapting and implementing RESPECT can increase uptake of evidence-based HIV interventions among Haitians and positively affect a region with high HIV prevalence and increased rates of sexual violence.