HIV-Response Intergenerational Participation Intervention Among Black Men in Ontario, Canada: Protocol for a Pilot Intervention Study
Background:Black men and their communities are more affected by HIV. Although they constitute less than 5% of the Ontarian population, they accounted for 26% of new HIV diagnoses in 2015, nearly half of which (48.6%) were attributed to heterosexual contact. HIV stigma and discrimination reinforce African, Caribbean, and Black men’s HIV vulnerability by creating unsafe environments that deter them from testing and disclosure, resulting in isolation, depression, delayed diagnosis and linkage to treatment and care, and poor health outcomes. In response to these challenges, intergenerational strategies were identified from previous community-based participatory studies as best practices to reduce HIV vulnerabilities and promote resilience among heterosexual Black men and communities. The proposed intervention is premised on this recommendation of intergenerational intervention.
Objective:The overarching objective is to engage heterosexual Black men and communities in cocreating a community centered, culturally safe intergenerational intervention to reduce HIV vulnerabilities and related health disparities.
Methods:We will engage 12 diverse community stakeholders in Ontario, inclusive of heterosexual Black men, in 8 weekly sessions to evaluate existing evidence of effective HIV health literacy interventions, identify essential and relevant aspects, and work collaboratively to co-design the HIV-Response Intergenerational Participation (HIP) intervention for use with Black men and communities. Next, we will recruit 24 self-identified heterosexual Black men aged 18-29, 29-49, and ≥50 years. We will pilot and evaluate the HIP intervention with 24 heterosexual Black men from these 3 age groups (split as 2 events: a total of 12 participants in person in Toronto and 12 participants on the web in Windsor, London, and Ottawa). We will use the data obtained along with questionnaires from validated scales and focus groups to evaluate the effectiveness of HIP. The data will include HIV knowledge, perceived stigma toward people living with HIV, acceptance and uptake of HIV testing, preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), and condom use. We will also collect data related to perceptions about system-level factors such as discrimination, socially misconstrued masculine identity, etc. Quantitative analysis will essentially be a univariate descriptive analysis. We will use thematic analysis to highlight the results of the focus group discussions. Finally, we will disseminate the evaluation results and engage researchers, leaders, Black men, and communities to expand the project team and scale up the intervention in Ontario and across Canada.
Results:Implementation commences by May 2023, and by September 2023, we should have produced, among others, an evidence-informed HIP intervention that can be adapted for use by heterosexual Black men and communities beyond Ontario.
Conclusions:The pilot intervention will strengthen critical health literacy and build resilience against HIV through intergenerational dialogue among heterosexual Black men of all ages.