National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – September 27, 2018 [booklet]

This brochure lists research focusing on HIV testing and helpful resources produced by CAPS/PRC. You might use it to:

  • Stay up-to-date on research and learn what we found out from research
  • Use the materials in trainings/presentations
  • Advocate for services/funding
  • Write grants
  • Develop new or modify existing HIV prevention programs
  • Evaluate current programs
  • Connect with CAPS/PRC to develop new projects.

Lead researchers (PIs) are listed for each study. Questions? Comments? Contact Daryl Mangosing at 415 502-1000 ext. 17163 (vm only) or [email protected] This brochure was prepared by the Community Engagement (CE) Core, previously known as the Technology and Information Exchange (TIE) Core: “Tying research and community together.”


HOME (Prevention for Women with Incarcerated Partners)

Please see the Science-to-Community Report on HOME. Women with incarcerated partners are at particular risk for HIV infection. Their partners are over five times more likely than men in the general population to be HIV+. Incarcerated men also have a high incidence of injection drug use. Women with incarcerated partners are primarily low-income women of color for whom racism, poverty and sexism contribute to increased HIV risk and whose life stressors are exacerbated by their partners' imprisonment.


The purpose of the HOME project is to design and test an intervention to reduce HIV risk among women whose male partner is being released from San Quentin State Prison. This study is funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The 12-month HOME intervention ran from February 2005 through January 2006. Weekly activities addressing HIV and STD prevention, women's health, and population-specific topics such as parole information were held at a center for visitors directly outside of the gates of San Quentin. Eleven women who visit incarcerated men were trained as peer educators and were closely involved with project staff in facilitating weekly activities. We collected data during the intervention period using the same quantitative surveys used in our formative research. We also are comparing participants in two cross-sectional surveys, one conducted immediately prior to the launch of the intervention and one conducted immediately after the intervention left the field. Finally, we conducted longitudinal qualitative interviews with the project peer educators.

Formative research

Prior to developing HOME, we conducted several studies with women with incarcerated partners. Based on information gathered in focus groups and pilot studies, we developed an HIV prevention intervention that addresses the specific needs of women with incarcerated partners and facilitates their utilization of community services. This intervention was a peer-led HIV education workshop that provided HIV information, facilitated supportive relationships between visitors and provided referrals as needed. This program and its evaluation are described in a published article (Comfort M, Grinstead OA, Faigeles B, Zack B. Reducing HIV risk among women visiting their incarcerated male partners.Criminal Justice and Behavior, 2000, Vol 21, p. 57-71). We also conducted a series of cross-sectional surveys of women leaving the prison after visiting. These descriptive surveys showed that women visitors are most often low income women of color and that the majority of visitors are raising children. Survey results also indicated that women are spending a large portion of their income on visiting, phone calls and other costs of maintaining their relationship with an incarcerated man. (Grinstead O, Faigeles B, Bancroft C, Zack B. The financial cost of maintaining relationships with incarcerated men: results from a survey of women prison visitors. Journal of African American Men. 2001.)


Inside Out logo In response to our findings that many women are unaware of or minimize the risk of having an incarcerated partner, we created the videotape "Inside/Out: Real Stories of Men and Women and Life After Incarceration." This 17 minute video presents real stories of four women whose partners have been incarcerated and five men who have served time. The video explores the challenges faced by women after their partners are released from prison. Inside/Out focuses on the health risks in prison and highlights the need for honest communication around health issues when planning for the future. The accompanying discussion guide is designed to draw women with incarcerated partners and other at-risk women into a discussion about the risks of partner incarceration and other partner risk issues. To order a copy of Inside/Out, please visit the Centerforce web site.

Research findings

In an effort to deepen our understanding of how circumstances of forced separation and the interdiction of physical contact affect women's sexual behavior, we investigated the development and maintenance of heterosexual couples' intimacy when the male partner is incarcerated. We recognize that correctional control extends to these women's bodies, both when they are within the facility's walls visiting their mates and when they are at home striving to remain connected to absent men. Using our formative qualitative interviews with 20 women who visit their incarcerated partners and 13 correctional officers who interact with prison visitors, we examined how institutional constraints such as the regulation of women's apparel, the prohibition of physical contact, and the lack of forums for privacy result in couples forging alternative "spaces" in which their relationships occur. Romantic scripts, the build-up of sexual tension during the incarceration period and conditions of parole promote unprotected sexual intercourse and other HIV/STD risk behavior following release from prison. (Comfort M, Grinstead O, McCartney K, Bourgois P, Knight K. You cannot do nothing in this damn place": sex and intimacy among couples with an incarcerated male partner. J Sex Res. 2005 Feb;42(1):3-12.)


The following research instruments were used for the HOME study.
  • Longitudinal survey - baseline (We administered these to women visiting their incarcerated partners at the prison under study. Women completed the baseline while their partner was incarcerated and they completed the follow-up 30 days after their partner was released from custody.)
  • Longitudinal survey - follow-up
  • Cross-sectional survey (We administered this survey to women visiting incarcerated men at the prison under study before our intervention began and after our intervention ended to measure community impact.)

Adherence Abstracts

Adherence to Combination Therapy in AIDS Clinical Trials (1997)

Chesney, M., Ickovics J., for the Recruitment, Adherence and Retention Committee of the ACTG (1997). Presented at the Annual Meeting of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, July 1997,Washington, D.C.
The Recruitment, Adherence and Retention Subcommittee of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group administered two questionnaires to 76 patients on combination therapy from 10 clinic AIDS Clinical Trials Units during May and June of 1997 (results were presented at the July, 1997 ACTG meeting by Drs. Margaret Chesney and Jeannette Ickovics). Eighty percent of the respondents were male, 30% were persons of color, the mean age was 40 years, 41 % were college graduates and the mean income was US$ 25,000. Of the 76 patients, 41% reported missing at least one dose "yesterday" (i.e., the day before completing the survey). Fourteen percent reported missing at least one dose the "day before yesterday." When these two days were examined together, a total of 18% of the patients missed at least one dose in the last two days. When asked about the last two weeks, 36% reported missing at least one dose. These data probably underestimate the problem because most of these patients were relatively new to their regimens. Adherence research indicates that adherence is better early on in the course of treatment and declines with time. The report of the ACTG survey also provided preliminary findings on some of the variables that are associated with or 'predict' nonadherence. These variables are important because they suggest ways that individuals who may have difficulties with adherence could be identified. The intent of studies finding such "predictors" is not to characterize persons who might not be prescribed medication but rather, to identify persons who may need additional assistance and to provide information that could be used to maximize the effectiveness of the assistance. The ACTG survey identified two predictors of nonadherence. The first of these was the frequency of alcohol intake, with a higher frequency associated with skipped doses. The average number of drinks per month among those who did not report skipping medication was 9, whereas the average number of drinks per month among those who reported skipping medication was 17. The second variable significantly associated with non adherence was "working outside the home for pay' " Specifically, 59% of the adherent survey respondents worked outside the home, the prevalence of working outside the home was significantly higher, at 85%, among those who are nonadherent. This latter variable is consistent with the data indicating that among the reasons for missing medications is being away from home and busy with other daily activities. A primary purpose of this survey was to test the feasibility of the two instruments: the baseline and the adherence follow-up questionnaires. The questionnaires took an average of 10 minutes each to complete and 89% and 93% thought the lengths of each (respectively) were fine. Ninety-six and 99% of the patients said that they thought others would be willing to complete the two instruments, respectively. Feb 01, 1998

Adherence and Effectiveness of Protease Inhibitors in Clinical Practice

Abstract of Presentation from the 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections February 1-5, 1998, Chicago, ILHECHT FM1, COLFAX G2, SWANSON M1, CHESNEY MA11University of California San Francisco, CA and 2Department of Public Health, SF CA Background: Adherence to protease inhibitor containing regimens for HIV infection is thought to be a important factor in determining the effectiveness of treatment, but there is limited data linking adherence to virologic outcomes. We measured adherence to protease inhibitor (PI) regimens in a public hospital clinic setting, and determined the association between adherence and undetectable HIV viremia. Methods: In 1-97 and 2-97 we surveyed patients at half of all clinic sessions at the San Francisco General Hospital AIDS clinic. Adherence was measured using a self-administered questionnaire that was reviewed by a trained interviewer for completeness. The questionnaire asked how many doses of protease inhibitors had been missed in each of the past 3 days. Patients were also asked if they took less pills than their doctor told them to take at each dose. A composite adherence measure was produced by calculating the proportion of recommended medication actually taken by patients in the prior 3 days, accounting for both missed and reduced doses. HIV-1 plasma RNA was measured by the bDNA test (Chiron, limit of detection 500 copies/ml), using measurements requested by physicians the day of the interview or the first measure performed after the interview. Results: Table 1: Patient Characteristics (n=135)
Characteristic Number Percent
Male 123 91.1 %
White 90 67.2 %
African American 20 14.9 %
Latino 15 11.2 %
Median age (years) 39.8 years Range 27.0-59.5 years
HIV Risk
MSM* 93 68.9 %
IDU* 12 8.9 %
MSM/IDU 11 8.1 %
41 7 14.1 %
Baseline CD4**
0-100 49 36.6 %
101-200 29 21.6 %
201-500 39 29.1 %
> 500 2 1.5 %
Unknown 16 11.9 %
Baseline median VL (n=61) 16060 copies/ul
Protease Inhibitor
Saquinavir 17 13.1 %
Indinavir 80 61.5 %
Ritonavir 24 18.5 %
Nelfinavir 2 1.5 %
Saquinavir/Ritonavir 7 5.4 %
Duration of PI Tx 205 days Range 60-624 days
Adherence to PI Tx
100% adherent 98 72.6 %
80-99% adherent 10 7.4 %
< 80% adherent 27 20.0 %
* MSM=Men having sex with men and IDU=Injection drug use ** Before starting treatment with protease inhibitors. Patients: 388 patients agreed to fill out the survey (response rate 72%). Of these, 183 had taken protease inhibitors. Of the 183, 135 had taken protease inhibitors for more than 2 months at the time of the interview, and provided a medical record number to match laboratory data with the questionnaire. Overall, 41% of patients had detectable viremia. Figure 1: Proportion of Patients with Undetectable Viremia by Adherence Multivariate predictors of undetectable viremia: In a multiple logistic regression model controlling for CD4 count prior to beginning PI treatment, type of protease inhibitor, and whether new or changed reverse transcriptase inhibitors were started with the PI, adherence was associated with non-detectable viremia, OR=4.7, 95% CI 1.1 ñ 20.6. Conclusions (1) The proportion of patients with undetectable viremia was nearly twice as high in patients who reported taking 100% of their recommended protease inhibitor medication in a 3 day period, compared with patients taking less than 80% of medication. Adherence to protease inhibitor treatment is an important predictor of reaching undetectable viremia in clinical practice. (2) While self-reported adherence is likely underestimate missed doses, a simple self-report measure identifies clinically important non-adherence. (3) Nearly half our pts had detectable viremia. This is higher than reported in several clinical trials of protease inhibitor regimens, and suggest that the effectiveness of protease inhibitor regimens in clinical practice may be lower than the efficacy of these treatments established in clinical trial settings. Frederick M. Hecht, MD UCSF AIDS Program San Francisco General Hospital 995 Potrero Ave, Ward 84 San Francisco, CA, 94110 Phone:             (415) 476-4082       x.431 Fax: (415) 476-6953 [email protected]

Qualitative interview instrument

While you are setting up your equipment, getting the consent form, etc. take note of the surroundings for your field notes.

1. I’d like you to think back to the last time you got an HIV test. Take a minute to remember everything you can about it and then tell me the whole story. Starting from what led up to the test, why you went to get it, where it was done and then how you felt afterwards? If they have never tested, skip to question # 6: Let interviewee describe the episode. Listen for answers to each of the following questions. Once interviewee's story is told, probe for any questions not answered. Content Areas for HIV Testing: Motivation: including why they decided to test, whether strictly voluntary, coerced or mandatory testing (prison, hospital), where they found out about testing/test site Location: Where was the test site? Procedures: Describe the actual test? (blood/Orasure) Who administered? How was the counseling? What was discussed in counseling? (Probe for discussion of risk behaviors, results, follow-up appointment) How did you feel after you left? Confidentialityavoid using the words "confidential" or "anonymous" Were you concerned about privacy at all? (Probe for name or number given, familiar test site, familiar test counselor/administrator) Waiting Period: How was the waiting period? Tell me about any changes that occurred during this time period. Did you talk to anyone about HIV and/or the test during the waiting period? Results: When did you go back for results? IF didn’t get results ask why. If had another test where did get results, what was different this time? Where did you go for results? Who gave them? (probe for familiarity with results counselor) How was the result explained/presented to you? What were your results? Was this the result you were expecting? Why? How did you feel after receiving the results? What was discussed after you received the results? (probe for discussions around risk, 6 month window period, referrals given, IF NEGATIVE — ways to stay negative, any plans made to stay negative) Was talking to them useful/helpful? Did you just want to get out of there? Who did you share your results with? 2. How did this compare to other tests you’ve had, did you like it or not? Was it typical of other tests? 3. After this HIV test, did anything change in your life? (drug use, sex, views on risk) If yes, explain what changed. If NO ask: 4. Have you ever had an HIV test that caused you to change your beliefs or behaviors? If yes, please explain what changed. (Probe for what aspect of C&T caused the change; i.e. was it the risk assessment counseling, or receiving the test results) 5. Is there anything [else] that caused you to change your beliefs or behaviors? (i.e. drug use, sex, views on risk) If yes, please explain what it was, and what changed. 6. Have you ever thought about testing/or been approached about testing? What happened? How did you hear about it? Why did you decide not to test? What do you think would happen if you did test?

Now I’d like to ask you a few more general questions about HIV testing. If they have already discussed their testing pattern above skip 1,2 & 3. 1. How many times have you tested in your life? 2. How often do you test? 3. Do you test regularly? If so, why?

This next section is very general. We are just trying to get a sense of people’s everyday lives. 1. Describe yesterday. What did you do when you got up in the morning until you went to bed? Content Areas for Daily Life: Location(s) Who respondent interacted with during the day Drug Use Resources: eating, getting money Time frames (what time did they get up, what time to bed, etc.) 2. How, in any way, was this different from a typical day?

I have a couple general questions about drugs and then I’d like to ask you more specifically about the last time you used. 1. What kinds of drugs do you use now? Probe for all drugs, including alcohol and those used sporadically 2. When do you use and how much? Ask for each drug mentioned above 3. Can you describe to me what happened the last time you used. Tell me the whole story from when it began until where you think it ended. I’d like to know who you were with, what you used, etc. Let interviewee describe the episode. Listen for answers to each of the following questions. Once interviewee's story is told, probe for any questions not answered. Content Areas for Drug Narrative: In this section we want to get at settings, people, and social and physical conditions which shape use; decisions and rules, spoken and tacit. Before Using: How were you feeling/What kind of mood were you in? What was going on at the time? Buying and preparing: Time and place. How were drugs procured? Who got them? Who paid? How did you get money for the drugs/buy in? If didn’t have money, how did you get your portion? Who was there? What are your relationships with these people? Who prepared drugs, how? How were drugs measured? Probe for using ONE syringe to divide up drugs into other syringes— was the loader’s syringe new or used; were receivers’ syringes new or used. Who or what determined how much each person got? Taking: How did you take the drugs (inject self, injected by another person, smoke, snort) Where did you get the (pipe, works)? Whose (rigs, pipe) did you use? Who went first (second, third, etc.) and why? Afterwards: How did you feel, what did you do afterwards? Did you need any other drugs to come down? 4. How, in any way, was this different from your usual experience using? 5. How does your drug use fit into your sex life? How does your drug use impact your sex life? Probe for drugs used before, during and after sex.

Let me ask you a few general questions about your relationships. 1. Do you currently have a steady partner(s) (girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, etc.)? If so, tell me about her/him or them? Individual characteristics of their partner. (age, gender, and ethnicity). Relationship with this partner (duration and nature of relationship, where/when/how met partner; main, casual, paying or exchange) Probe around past sexual experiences with this partner. What attracted you to her/him? What did you like about her/him? (if appropriate)

Now I would like to ask some personal questions about your sexual behavior. We realize that this is a very personal subject, but your answers are very important to our research. Your answers will remain completely confidential and remember names will not be attached to any of this information. 1. I would like to talk about the last time you had sex with someone without a condom. When was that? NOTE: This includes when a condom broke and when there was dipping. 2. Could you think back now and try to remember as much as you can about that time, and tell me the story of how it happened? Try to remember when it happened, who you were with, what you were doing and how you felt. Let interviewee describe the episode. Listen for answers to each of the following questions. Once Interviewee's story is told, probe for any questions not answered. Content Areas for Sexual Interactions: Sexual partner: Individual characteristics of this sex partner. (age, gender, and ethnicity). Relationship with this partner (duration and nature of relationship, where/when/how met partner; main, casual, paying or exchange) Past sexual experiences with this partner What attracted you to him/her? (if appropriate) Before Sex: What was going on at that time? How did it happen? (When did it happen?, who initiated?, where were you?) How were you feeling? (Were you expecting to have sex? Did either one of you talk about it first? What were you hoping to get out of it?) Sexual Events: What happened? (types of sex: anal, oral, vaginal, mutual masturbation, digital, etc.) What determined the kinds of sex you had? (active vs. passive roles, verbal vs. nonverbal c communication, payment, consent, etc.)  How did you make a decision to NOT use a condom?/Why didn’t you use condoms? Birth control method of any kind used Using (Drugs): Drugs or alcohol used by you or this sex partner before, during or after having sex. (Injected drugs/non-injected drugs/alcohol; levels of intoxication) What did using have to do with this sexual encounter? (sex/drug exchanges, drugs enhancing sex, sex enhancing drug, etc.) HIV/AIDS: Issue of HIV ever discussed (Your status? Partner’s status? If so, how? Before or after sex?) If not discussed, then what did you believe (or assume)? Before or after sex? How did knowing or not knowing your partner’s HIV status affect having sex this time. After Sex: Thinking back over this particular experience, is there anything that you would have wanted to happen differently? Tell me about that. Generalizability - Typical or unusual compared to most of other sexual interactions Relationship potential - Someone you wanted to see again? To have sex with again? 3. How was this different from your usual experience having sex without a condom? 4. How was this different from the last time you had sex WITH a condom? 5. Thinking about when you have sex in general, what makes it easier to use condoms/protection with your partners? (Probes: nature of relationship; how long they knew their partner; serostatus) 6. Thinking about when you have sex in general, what are some of the reasons you haven’t used condoms/protection? 7. How are these situations (using a condom verses not using a condom) different. 8. How is having sex with your "steady partner" (whatever term interviewee uses) different from having sex with others, such as casual partners, one-night stands or tricks?

National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day — April 10, 2018 [booklet]

Research & Resources

This brochure lists research projects with youth or young adults, as well as helpful resources produced by CAPS/PRC. You might use it to:
  • Stay up-to-date on research and learn what we found out from research
  • Provide materials in trainings/presentations
  • Advocate for services/funding
  • Write grants
  • Develop new or modify existing HIV prevention programs
  • Evaluate current programs
  • Connect with CAPS/PRC to develop new projects. Lead researchers (PIs) are listed for each study. Contact us below to connect.
Questions? Comments? Contact Daryl Mangosing at 415-502-1000 ext. 17163 (vm only) or [email protected] This brochure was prepared by the CAPS Community Engagement (CE) Core, which is previously known as the Technology and Information Exchange (TIE) Core.


MSM: Men who have sex with men PI: Principal Investigator (lead researcher on the study) CO-I: Co-Investigator (contributing researcher or research partner)