HIV Prevention Programs at PLACE Venues
The PLACE method identifies public venues where people meet new sexual partners and provides this information to local HIV prevention programs for outreach efforts. MEASURE Evaluation Senior Research Associate, Sharon Weir, PhD, explains how prevention programs use this information and types of programs can be implemented at PLACE sites.
"Prevention program components are implemented by a partnership of trained HIV prevention staff of the Ministry of Health and influential persons at the site," says Dr. Weir. "MOH prevention staff provides initial training to influential staff and patrons at the venue. They work to wean themselves from the venue as on-site staff and patrons take on the responsibility for sustaining the venue as a safe-sex venue."
The Jamaica Ministry of Health took more than a year to consider program options at PLACE venues in Kingston, Jamaica. They produced a manual that contained a detailed, venue-based strategy for HIV prevention for implementing the Jamaica PLACE Intervention Program.
The overall objective of the venue-based program is to establish and maintain the site as a "safe sex venue." To do this the following tasks must be accomplished:
- Train staff and patrons how to promote safer sex at the venue and give them the educational and motivational materials necessary to do so.
- Establish a continuous condom supply and motivate people to use condoms consistently and correctly.
- Improve health seeking behavior, testing and treatment among staff and patrons.
The components of the program to achieve these tasks and the multi-level strategy are displayed in Table 1.
Table 1. Components of the Multi-Level PLACE Intervention at Venues
Kingston, Jamaica 2005
Individual Venue Patron Level
Develop a written condom use policy for any sexworkers and dancers at the venue
Display condom brochures and posters on HIV and STDs
Maintain a sustainable and visible supply of condoms
Schedule on-site HIV testing
Monitor on-site prevention activities using PLACE surveys
Train and supervise staff, patrons, sex workers and dancers to conduct group education sessions at the venue
Establish a group norm among patrons to carry condoms at all times
Conduct group condom demonstrations, group interactive games, dramatic skits, role plays
Identify regular patrons who meet sexual partners at the venue and conduct one to one counseling sessions with these patrons
Conduct onsite rapid HIV tests and provide pre and post test counseling and referral
Monitor patron behavior using PLACE surveys