Evaluating the Feasibility of Implementing an HIV Prevention Intervention for Incarcerated African American Men: Lessons Learned From a Pilot Study

Carlos C. Mahaffey, Danelle Stevens-Watkins, A. Kathleen Burlew, Myles D. Moody, Paris B. Wheeler, Shawndaya Thrasher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This pilot study evaluated the feasibility of implementing an evidence-based, culturally adapted HIV intervention with substance-using African American men in a prison setting. We recruited 60, soon-to-be released African American male prisoners from a larger study (N = 211) to be randomly selected for participation in the group-based HIV intervention, Real Men Are Safe–Culturally Adapted (REMAS-CA). Participants who were not selected for participation in the intervention received standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV prevention counseling education, provided during participant assessment in the larger study. Nearly all of the participants who were selected to participate (87%) completed the REMAS-CA intervention. To examine feasibility, data were collected about any revisions made to the HIV intervention components for the prison setting, time needed to implement the program in full, details of implementing the intervention to ensure participation and maintain retention, and participant perception of the intervention. Revisions to the intervention included reducing the number of sessions from five to three, modifying the protocol language based on the setting, and removing six activities deemed inappropriate and/or unallowable by the prison officials. The cultural considerations and intervention, overall, were well received by the participants. However, several revisions made specific to the prison and its administration could affect the potential effectiveness of the intervention. Future research is needed to determine the effectiveness of REMAS-CA among this community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-830
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was sponsored and supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Nos. K08DA032296, PI: Stevens-Watkins; and T32DA035200, PI: Rush. The project described was also supported by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant UL1TR001998-01, PI: Kern. This manuscript was supported by the University of Kentucky Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship. No potential conflicts of interest were reported. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, University of Kentucky, or Oklahoma State University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society for Public Health Education.


  • Black/African American
  • health education
  • health promotion
  • minority health
  • program planning and evaluation
  • sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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