Tailoring an HIV-prevention intervention for cocaine injectors and crack users in Porto Alegre, Brazil

C. G. Leukefeld, F. Pechansky, S. S. Martin, H. L. Surratt, J. A. Inciardi, F. H.P. Kessler, M. M. Orsi, L. Von Diemen, E. Meyer Da Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Brazil has the second largest number of reported AIDS cases in the world. Porto Alegre, like most other large urban centres in Brazil, has been greatly impacted by an AIDS epidemic driven by high rates of drug use and risky sexual behaviours. While epidemiologic surveillance of HIV/AIDS and treatment initiatives for HIV-infected individuals are well developed in Brazil, comparatively little attention has focused on developing interventions directed toward high-risk populations. Intervention programmes, particularly those tailored for chronic drug users, are lacking. This pilot project successfully adapted and tailored a cognitive behavioural HIV intervention developed in the US to the cultural setting in Porto Alegre. The project established feasibility and acceptability of the approach for targeting risky drug and sexual behaviours among a group of male Brazilian drug users. A sample of 120 male cocaine users was recruited from a public health clinic serving the target population in the city of Porto Alegre. The average age of the participants was 29; they averaged less than 8 years of formal education; and less than half (41%) were married. Lifetime self-reported drug use was high with 93% reporting cocaine use, 87% reporting crack use, and 100% reporting marijuana use. 43% of the sample reported ever injecting drugs. Reports of risky sexual behaviours were similarly elevated. Almost half (45%) tested positive for HIV. Preliminary evidence suggests that intervention acceptability was high among participants. Given the reported high risk sexual and drug use behaviours among these men, HIV interventions must be evaluated and expanded to include this population as well as their sexual partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S77-S87
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
One of the more widely used HIV/AIDS-prevention protocols in Porto Alegre is a Brazilian adaptation of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) ‘Standard HIV Intervention’ (Inciardi et al., 1999). The current project, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a supplement to an ongoing HIV-prevention project in Delaware, modified and tailored a US-based HIV-prevention intervention for use in Brazil. Called the ‘Porto Alegre HIV Intervention’, this adaptation has three components: (1) the Brazilian version of the NIDA Standard HIV intervention; (2) the addition and discussion of ‘structured stories’; and (3) the addition of a ‘Thought Mapping’ module to encourage more thought about personal risk behaviours and mechanisms for change. The following sections describe the three parts of the intervention: (1) The Brazilian NIDA Standard Intervention; (2) Structured Stories; and (3) Thought Mapping ·/ and how each was adapted to the setting in Porto Alegre.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Tailoring an HIV-prevention intervention for cocaine injectors and crack users in Porto Alegre, Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this