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Text Messaging for Abstinence and HIV Risk Prevention

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The 411 on Safe Text: Cell Phone Based-HIV Prevention for Black Urban Young Men is a proposal specifically intended to respond to the RFA-07-002 call to 'Develop or test interventions for real world community settings, identifying specific cultural factors in research design and data analysis.' We will blend Afrocentric cultural elements with youth cell phone culture to develop and pilot test an innovative technology based HIV prevention program for Black urban young men aged 16-20. The 411 on Safe Text will use cell- phones to deliver culturally relevant, tailored, motivational and educational material to promote abstinence, increased monogamy and increased condom use. The Specific Aims we will achieve through this project include: (1) To review existing data previously gathered from 2218 Black urban youth during two in-depth investigations of sexuality and abstinence, respectively, in order to craft prototypes for culturally appropriate, theoretically framed HIV prevention messages that can be delivered using cell-phone technology; (2) To conduct six focus groups with Black urban young men in Philadelphia, PA, using an iterative process to garner feedback and reactions to these initial prototypes; (3) To utilize existing data and newly gathered focus group data to refine prototypes and design generic health messages (for controls) and theoretically and culturally framed HIV prevention text messages; streaming video; and short quizzes that will be delivered via cell phones (for intervention participants); (4) To pilot test the acceptability and feasibility of cell-phone based interventions with 60 Black urban young men aged 16-20; and (5) To pilot test the efficacy of the cell-phone based HIV prevention intervention in increasing abstinence or delaying sexual activity; monogamy; and use of condoms.

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