• Journal Article

Gender-Specific HIV Prevention Interventions for Women Who Use Alcohol and Other Drugs: The Evolution of the Science and Future Directions

Citation

Wechsberg, W., Deren, S., Myers, B., Kirtadze, I., Zule, W., Howard, B., & El-Bassel, N. (2015). Gender-Specific HIV Prevention Interventions for Women Who Use Alcohol and Other Drugs: The Evolution of the Science and Future Directions. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 69(Suppl 2), S128-S139. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000627

Abstract

The use of alcohol and other drugs (AODs) is an important driver of gender disparities in HIV prevalence. Consequently, there is a need for women-specific HIV interventions that are conceptualized to address (1) women's risk behavior, their roles in sexual relationships, and gender power dynamics and (2) other issues commonly faced by women who use AODs, such as gender-based violence and victimization. This article presents the evolution of HIV prevention intervention research with women who use AODs. It looks at 3 generations of women-focused HIV research interventions, including first-generation projects that started in the 1990s, second-generation efforts where projects expanded in scope and included adaptions of evidence-based interventions for global relevance, and finally third-generation projects currently underway that combine biobehavioral methods and are being implemented in real-world settings. Because women who use AODs continue to report risk behaviors related to HIV, emphasis should be placed on training scientists to conduct gender-specific studies, increasing funding for new studies, and advocating to ensure that stigma-free services are available for these at-risk women