There is a lack of primary prevention for African Americans age 50 years and older (50+ AAs). With decreasing prevention dollars, Montgomery County is forced to fund prevention for higher priority groups. Of the county's 14 substance abuse prevention (SUP) programs, only one provides prevention to AA seniors. Other prevention resources include the Mt. Olive One-Stop Center, which has served over 1,100 50+ AAs since 2007 with SUP and HIV education/testing. The Public Health Mobile Unit was established in 2004 and provides HIV counseling/testing and other basic screening services in the community. Local officials consider 50+ AAs an important target for prevention services because of the burgeoning Baby Boomer population and their increasing rates of HIV. The Fifty-Plus Prevention Program (F3P) was created to address the need for HIV prevention and testing services for African Americans age 50 years and older.
- Enroll 375 African American men and women in the program which includes the SHIELD intervention.
- Provide HIV testing to at least 80% of enrolled participants.
- Provide HIV testing to an additional 2,000 members of the target population in the community.
Over the course of the five-year project, F3P reached 395 participants with an evidence-based substance abuse and HIV prevention intervention, 1,520 participants via peer outreach, and tested 2,037 persons in the target population (African Americans 50 and over) for HIV. The follow-up rate was 98.23%. A total of 32 SHIELD (Self-Help Eliminating Life-Threatening Diseases) cycles were conducted with an average number of 12 participants per 6-session cycle. In addition, a total of 71 testing events were conducted with an average of 5 participants per testing event.
Additionally, 82.78% of SHIELD participants were tested for HIV as a part of the grant.
The F3P project successfully reached and surpassed the stated prevention intervention goals. Analysis of F3P data suggests that the project positively impacted the behavior of the target population it touched through the strategies implemented. Analysis of data revealed that the target population that received services is showing an increased awareness of the risks associated with unsafe sex practices and substance use; and participants surveyed at follow-up reported less substance use, fewer sex partners, increased HIV knowledge, increased condom use, and increased perceived risk related to HIV.
Carlton Williams, D. Min.
Publications and Presentations
- Kissell, K. M., Kinzeler, N. R., Williams, C., Hardin, L., Brown, K., & Wilson, J. F. (2016b, February 21-24). Relationship between age of onset and current substance use for African Americans over the age of 50 [Poster presentation]. American Academy of Health Behavior Annual Scientific Meeting, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL., United States.
- Williams, C., Kissell, K. M., Kinzeler, N. R., Hardin, L., Brown, K., & Wilson, J. F. (2015, October 31-November 4). Substance use and HIV prevention efforts in a 50+ African American population [Conference session]. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo, Chicago, IL, United States.