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An Accessible Digital Intervention to Promote HIV Testing/Counseling and Prevention Among Adolescents

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42HD088317-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42HD088317
Amount: $1,492,329.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NICHD
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-07-31
Small Business Information
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1146
United States
DUNS: 166975396
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (412) 276-3676
Business Contact
Phone: (412) 276-3676
Research Institution
P.O. Box 208327
NEW HAVEN, CT 06520-8327
United States

 Nonprofit college or university

HIV disproportionately impacts minority adolescentsand most of them have neither undergone HIV testing
and counselingHTCnor know their statusAdolescence is a "window of opportunity" to intervene with HIV
behavior change interventionsChallenges to implementing and disseminating some effective HIV prevention
programs in adolescents may limit their impactTo address these challengesinnovative digital technologies
can be used as interventions to improve health related behaviorsThey meet adolescents "where they are at "
are engagingprovide more consistent fidelity to the interventionand are easier to disseminateleading to
potentially greater reach at a lower costThereforethe goal of this proposal is to build on the work completed
with a Phase I project to further adapt an existing iPad based HIV prevention intervention with demonstrated
efficacyPlayForwardElm City Storiesdeveloped for adolescents agedand focused on sexual risk
reductionto create a new intervention focused on promoting access to and uptake of HTC in adolescentsagedIn the original PlayForwardparticipants create a virtual character they use to travel through lifefacing challenges and making decisions that bring different risksbenefitsand consequencesThe participants
can see how their actions influence their futureThe intervention involves a series of realistic stories
representing risky situations faced by adolescents in middle or high schooland participants successfully
resolve each story to acquire "senses" and "powers " The subsequent Phase I study adapted the intervention
for a greater focus on HTC with enhanced storylines and conducted a pilot study that demonstrated efficacy in
increasing actual HTCintentionsand knowledgeFor the proposed Phase II studywe will conduct additional
formative work with focus groupsand our team of product developers and researchers will expand on the
content and scope of the intervention while translating the intervention to a web based platformWe will move
towards commercialization of the digital intervention by working with implementation and marketing partnersWe will evaluate the adapted intervention in a randomized controlled trial withracial ethnic minority
adolescentsdetermining its efficacy as a web based intervention for impacting their intention to seek HTCactual obtaining of HTCand knowledge about HIV AIDS and testingThey will interact with the intervention forhours per week forweeksand standardized assessment data will be collected at baselineweeksandmonthsGiven the compelling evidence supporting the efficacy of technology in health promotion and
disease preventionand their increased accessfidelityand potential cost effectivenessthis proposal holds
the promise of an effectiveengagingtailoredand highly accessible prevention intervention with the potential
for greater sustainable dissemination and considerable impact on this vulnerable population of adolescents

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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