Real Men are Safe (REMAS) is an HIV intervention and prevention program designed for men receiving treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. It is delivered in five sessions with the aim of reducing unprotected sex and increasing sexual protection and condom use. However, initial results of REMAS show that although white men increased their safe sex practices, African-American men and Hispanic men did not show significant improvements. Minority men make up the highest percentage of HIV-positive men in the program and in the general population. Therefore, these findings would indicate that a more culturally sensitive approach is necessary.
Donald A. Calsyn of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington decided to add a cultural component to the REMAS and see if that would make a difference in the minority HIV positive men. In a recent study, Calsyn delivered the culturally adapted intervention, known as REMAS-CA, to men in four different community treatment centers.
The 66 men in REMAS-CA were compared to 136 who were part of REMAS and follow-up measures of HIV risk, condom use, and substance use were conducted. Calsyn found that attendance was nearly 87% in REMAS-CA compared to 75% in the original REMAS. Also, REMAS-CA decreased the number of unprotected sexual encounters for African-American and white men significantly, but had little effect on unprotected sex for the Hispanic men.
One of the strengths of REMAS-CA is its focus on ethnic differences. Rather than targeting a particular cultural or ethnic group, the intervention addresses issues that are commonly faced by all men. “An intervention such as REMAS-CA should be more feasible for clinics to implement because it defines culture broadly and thus can be used with men from all backgrounds,” added Calsyn.
Because it did not have a drastic impact on Hispanic men, perhaps further modifications could be made to make it more appealing and effective for men of Hispanic heritage. Until that time, these results show that even minor modifications to the original REMAS have a big influence on sexual practices among HIV-positive men.
Calsyn, Donald A., PhD., et al. (2013). An HIV Prevention Intervention for Ethnically Diverse Men in Substance Abuse Treatment: Pilot Study Findings. American Journal of Public Health 103.5 (2013): 896-902. ProQuest. Web.
© Copyright 2013 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.