Project Lead(s): Carmen Logie
Internally displaced women are at elevated risk for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), due to limited access to health services, heightened poverty and social network breakdown.
The lack of HIV/STI prevention initiatives for internally displaced women in Leogane, the epicentre of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, led to an increase in HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
The FASY (Famn an Aksyon Pou Sante’ Yo – Women Taking Action For Their Health) study examined the effectiveness of a peer health worker-delivered psycho-educational HIV/STI pilot study with internally displaced women in Leogane, Haiti.
This was a non-randomized cohort pilot study. Participants completed a computer-assisted pre-test program, followed by an HIV/STI educational video-based session and a six-week psycho-educational group program of weekly meetings. Participants completed a post-test upon completion of group sessions.
Delivery of peer health worker psycho-educational HIV/STI information via computer programs resulted in improved HIV knowledge in this study population.
The study also showed significant improvement post-intervention in STI knowledge, condom use, social support, resilient coping, depression and relationship control.
The study helps provide an understanding of the feasibility and scientific impacts of HIV prevention strategies in disaster contexts, and supports testing the approach for applicability with similar populations globally.
Work on the project appeared in the journals BMJ Open, BMJ Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the International Journal of Security and Development, Global Public Health, Global Social Welfare, and PLOS One.