Popular Opinion Leader HIV Intervention among Chinese Market Workers

This project is part of the NIMH Collaborative HIV/STD Prevention Trial which adopts a two-arm, randomized community-level design to test the Popular Opinion Leader (POL) HIV prevention intervention model at five international sites (China, India, Peru, Russia, and Zimbabwe). CCH is the lead on the China site.

China, representing 1/4th of the world’s population, has a rapidly emerging HIV epidemic with about 1.2 million individuals already infected, more than the total of all the Asian nations combined. Similar to Africa and India, the country’s 200-250 million labor migrants are a key to the epidemic’s future; however, HIV infection is predominantly occurring in rural settings (75% of population) and migrants transmit the virus heterosexually when moving to the cities annually.

The goals of this project are: 1) to adapt a comprehensive community-level preventive intervention – The Popular Opinion Leader – to populations in China based on data from ethnographic studies and compare the results with the other four international sites which follow the same research procedure; 2) to test the efficacy of this community-level preventive intervention in China as well as the four international sites utilizing both behavioral and biological outcomes; and, 3) to develop a manual that will permit different health care agencies and service providers to conduct rapid ethnographic studies, translate this community-level intervention to different settings and populations, and assess intervention efficacy.

The ability of CCH investigators to successfully implement the project is based on previous successful HIV prevention trials including interventions in China and participation in HIV-related cooperative agreements; support of the project from experienced Chinese collaborators, officials, and organizations; access to sites in China; collaboration with experienced Chinese investigators, several of whom have trained at UCLA; collaboration of the Qualitative Core of the UCLA-NPI with considerable cross-national and cross-site experience; and previous experience in conducting interventions and assessments that are culturally sensitive and appropriate.