The challenge of promoting safe sex at sites where persons meet new sex partners in Jamaica: results of the Kingston PLACE randomized controlled trial
Author(s): Figueroa JP, Weir SS, Byfield L, Hall A, Cummings SM, Suchindran CM
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a site-based Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE) HIV prevention intervention in Kingston, Jamaica increased condom use among persons with new or multiple sex partners.
METHODS: A total of 147 sites where persons go to meet new sex partners were grouped into 50 geographic clusters and randomized to receive or not receive a multilevel PLACE prevention intervention. Baseline cross-sectional surveys of sites and patrons at sites were conducted in 2005 to determine the nature of social activities at sites to better plan the intervention and to ensure that the two arms of the trial were similar. The intervention was delivered by 50 trained outreach workers between January and June 2006. After the intervention two cross-sectional surveys were conducted to assess the extent of intervention implementation and to estimate the proportion of patrons at sites with recent new or concurrent partnerships and inconsistent condom use.
RESULTS: Characteristics of sites and patrons were similar for most variables at intervention and control sites at both baseline and post-intervention. A total of 1535 patrons (723 men, 812 women) were interviewed at intervention sites and 1324 patrons (661 men, 663 women) at control sites 6-9 months after the intervention. There were no significant differences between intervention and control groups in the proportions of men (37.8% and 31.6%) and women (24.6% and 22.6%) who reported new or multiple relationships in the past year and inconsistent condom use. There was no significant difference in the proportion of men or women showing a condom at interview, having a HIV test in the past 12 months or being exposed to the intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: An intent-to-treat analysis did not show any intervention effect. This was probably because of difficulty in implementing the intervention, the extent of patron mixing among sites, the intensity of national education campaigns, delay in conducting the post-intervention survey and evidence of other interventions at some control sites.
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