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High-Use Alcohol Venues: Tourism, Sex Work and HIV in the Dominican Republic

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigator:   Mark Padilla

The overall goal of the present R21 submission is to conduct formative research to develop a venue-based alcohol and HIV-prevention intervention for adults in the Dominican Republic. The study builds on an existing international collbaration between faculty at the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York, NY, the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, MI, and the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo Recinto Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The long term goal is to develop and evaluate an alcohol and HIV-prevention intervention for adult alcohol users in the Dominican Republic and to establish an international research partnership that can address the ongoing relationship between tourism, alcohol use and HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region. The study is grounded in an innovative, multi-level framework that integrates the contextual factors associated with tourism and high-use alcohol venues with individual theories of health behavior to understand the determinants of alcohol use and HIV-related sexual risk behavior. Since the 1980s, the Dominican Republic has become a primary location for (1) leisure and sex tourism, (2) alcohol and drug use, (3) transactional sex work, and (4) global population mixing. The Dominican Republic has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the Caribbean and the potential roles of alcohol use and tourism remain understudied. Specifically, the study seeks to elicit perspectives on alcohol use, other drug use and HIV-related sexual risk behavior, explicate the relationship between alcohol use and HIV-related sexual risk behaviors, including transactional sex, identify the determinants of alcohol use and HIV-related sexual risk behaviors in order to prevent and reduce HIV-transmission, understand how environmental factors associated with tourism and high-use alcohol venues shape alcohol use and HIV-related sexual risk behavior, and develop a venue-based intervention to reduce alcohol use and HIV-related sexual risk behavior among Dominicans. The study focuses on Dominican adults working in the tourist economy who engage in a wide range of transactional sexual relationships. The study will collect preliminary data that will enable the Investigative Team to develop and refine a targeted, culturally appropriate group intervention to promote reduced alcohol use and sexual risk taking. A collaboration plan describing the joint responsibilities of the Investigative Team has been developed. The study will provide important insights into contextual factors underlying the relationship between alcohol use and HIV/AIDS. The proposed study has important implications for the development of targeted, culturally-appropriate, applied public health interventions for alcohol users in the Dominican Republic.

Funding Period: 12/20/2010 to 08/31/2011

Country of Focus: Dominican Republic

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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