What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


"Shocking" News: Pregnancy More Likely in LGB Teens!
May 28, 2015

"Shocking" News: Pregnancy More Likely in LGB Teens!

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 Annika Shore, MPH
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Tags: Sexual and reproductive health, Professional development, Pregnancy prevention, LGBTQ
"There Is an American Indian Working in This Section!" - Honoring National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
March 17, 2015

Honoring National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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 Karen L. Parker-Simons
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Tags: National Native HIV-AIDS Awareness Day, HIV-AIDS, Tribal nations, Community Impact Solutions Project
HIV Treatment: Keeping People in Care
March 12, 2015

HIV Treatment: Keeping People in Care

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.

  1. Locate individuals at greatest risk for HIV and motivate them to get tested.
  2. Connect with individuals who have HIV and provide support for them to start and stay in HIV-related medical treatment.

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 BA Laris, MPH
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, Professional development, High impact prevention, Evidence-based interventions, Retention, Community Impact Solutions Project
Optimizing Skill Instruction in Sexual and Reproductive Health Education
March 3, 2015

Optimizing Skill Instruction in Sexual and Reproductive Health Education

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 Karin Coyle, PhD
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Tags: Pregnancy prevention, STD prevention, Evidence-based interventions, Health education, Sexual and reproductive health
Social Network Strategy: Turning the Tables on HIV
February 25, 2015

Social Network Strategy: Turning the Tables on HIV

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 Joan Singson
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, Evidence-based interventions, Professional development, Community Impact Solutions Project, High impact prevention
World AIDS Day: Towards an AIDS-Free Generation
December 1, 2014

World AIDS Day: Towards an AIDS-Free Generation

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 Alex Williams
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, Community Impact Solutions Project
My Take: Seeing Relationships: Best Next Steps in STD/HIV/Pregnancy Prevention
August 22, 2014

My Take: Seeing Relationships: Best Next Steps in STD/HIV/Pregnancy Prevention

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 Karin Coyle, PhD
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, Sexual and reproductive health, Teens, Sex education, STDs, Pregnancy prevention, Evidence-based interventions
Thinking Research: 40-Year-Old Single Male Seeks Fun Sex
March 18, 2014

Thinking Research: 40-Year-Old Single Male Seeks Fun Sex

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?”

By Anne Freiwald, MPH
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Tags: Men, Sexual and reproductive health, STDs

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