By Annika Shore, MPH | May 28, 2015
Professional Development Consultant, ETR
A study has recently come out that has everyone in my field talking. I’ve seen posts about it in newsletters and blogs about it on social media. Announcements were made in all my professional networks. This new study shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are more likely to experience a pregnancy than their heterosexual counterparts.
I was happy to see that this new research was getting people in my community talking about an issue I care deeply about: the health and well-being of youth—especially the health and well-being of youth who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. However, this is not new information. This research confirms something we have known for many years and is not, in fact, “shocking.”
The shock people are feeling, I think, is due to the fact that this study requires us to reflect on our own assumptions about the lives and sexual behaviors of young people.
By Karen L. Parker-Simons | March 17, 2015
Health Education Coordinator, Florida Department of Health
I began working in HIV/AIDS Prevention in February 2007. At the time I had never heard of World AIDS Day, never mind National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. That first year it slipped by me without my catching it.
But, by 2008, I finally knew about it. National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is something very special. This wasn’t just another awareness day for which I would have to think up events. No, this day spoke TO me—it was ABOUT me! I am an American Indian from the Dumna/Kechayi Yokuts Tribe of California. Not only could I loudly proclaim to everyone in my Department, “Hey! Know what? There is an American Indian working in this section!” I could also take a very important message to the communities I knew and loved.
By BA Laris, MPH | March 12, 2015
Research Associate, ETR
In recent years, there has been a major shift in the way we approach HIV treatment and prevention. Research has shown (for example, see Gardner’s 2011 report here; and the AIDS.gov background here) that we will have our greatest impact when we focus on two major steps.
These are deceptively simple prescriptions. But if you work in HIV care and treatment settings, you know there are a myriad of physical, social and emotional issues that can make it difficult for people to stay engaged in continuous treatment. This challenge is one that our Community Impact Solutions team addresses in our work providing capacity building for community-based organizations. We develop strategies and deliver coaching and support to strengthen HIV programs. Our approaches are both research proven and real-world practical.
By Karin Coyle, PhD | March 3, 2015
Senior Research Scientist, ETR
Most evidence-based sexual health programs include skill development as a core element. This underscores the value of optimizing instruction for skills. Education literature provides guidance on the optimal instructional sequence for teaching behavioral skills. There are a number of other important considerations for skill instruction that compliment this type of instructional sequence, and some common pitfalls to avoid.
By Joan Singson | February 25, 2015
Program Manager, ETR
I used to walk in and out of drab motels and dive bars in the middle of the night, distributing condoms and encouraging people to test for HIV. Yup! Been there, done that. The strategies we used to help reduce the spread of HIV in the early 1990’s were not for the faint of heart.
Those of us who were involved back when old school was hip hop and Wu-Tang-Clan was the bomb could probably rattle off a hundred ways to recruit individuals for HIV counseling, testing and referral. Organizations were motivated by the message that “anyone can get HIV,” and funding streams asked them to cast a wide net and bring in as many individuals as possible for testing.
Since then, the business of recruitment has evolved.
By Alex Williams | December 1, 2014
Today is December 1, also known as World AIDS Day. Every year on this day there is a temporary global shift in attention to reflect on the impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In the United States, the day is marked by observances, reflections, tributes, concerts, ceremonies, memorial services and themed awareness-raising events.
In the United States, nearly 648,500 persons diagnosed with AIDS have died, and approximately 50,000 persons acquire HIV annually. Today, an estimated 1.2 million persons in the United States are living with HIV.
Although these figures suggest despair, there have been significant advances since the first AIDS diagnosis in June 1981. The theme for this year's observation is "Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation," noting the shift from widespread hopelessness to the eventual eradication of HIV.
By Karin Coyle, PhD
ETR's research team is testing some exciting new programs that ask middle and high school students to consider the ways romantic relationships influence their sexual choices and risks. We call this “contextualizing” sexual and reproductive health education—that is, using the context of relationships to build health-promoting information, attitudes and behaviors.
By Anne Freiwald, MPH | March 18, 2014
I recently found myself at the 40th birthday party of a male friend. At the end of the evening, I was the only woman at the table, listening to male friends discuss online dating, sexual activities and preferences. They were comparing notes on how to meet new partners, including the use of some cool new dating apps. Most of these men were newly divorced or separated, and it was what some might call a racy conversation—each wanting to outdo the other.
The conversation was rich with the sorts of questions, assumptions and perceptions researchers like me get lost in. I was listening for themes and thinking about areas where I needed to gather additional information.
My inner researcher sat up and started asking myself questions. “What do STD rates look like among men in this age cohort?” “How likely is condom use in this population?” “How would they know if had a STD?” “Where would they get checked? Would they get checked?”