Nia: A Program of Purpose for African American Men

The Research

The Science Behind the Package

nia logo

Nia is a six hour, two to four session, video-based, small group-level intervention. The goals of this intervention are to educate African American men about HIV/AIDS and its effect on their community, bring groups of men together, increase motivation to reduce risks, and help men learn new skills to protect themselves and others by promoting condom use and increasing intentions to use condoms. Nia is based on the Information-Motivational- Behavioral Skills (IMB). The IMB model assumes that people need information, motivation, and behavioral skills to adopt preventive behaviors.

Target Population
African American men (ages 18 and over) who have sex with women

Facilitators convene a group of 4-10 participants at venues such as STD clinics, correctional facilities (local and state jails), drug rehabilitation centers, or community-based organization (CBO) or faith-based organization (FBO) offices. Participants examine their HIV/AIDS-related behavior risk(s), develop skills to reduce their risk(s), and receive feedback from others during the sessions. Facilitators review and reinforce HIV/AIDS knowledge and behavioral skills through educational and condom use videos, group activities, personal feedback reports, group discussions, condom demonstration and practice, and skills practice and role plays based on short movie clips. The six hour intervention can be conducted in two, three, or four sessions.

Research Results
The Nia intervention produced the following results among African American men at an STD clinic:

  • Increased condom use/decreased unprotected vaginal/ anal intercourse
  • Increased talking with partner about HIV risk and condom use
  • Decreased drug/alcohol use before or with sex
  • Improved management of risky sexual situations, e.g.,
    • Planned ahead to practice safer sex
    • Refused unsafe/unprotected sex
    • Increased condom carrying

For Details on the Research Design
Kalichman S, Cherry C, Browne-Sperling F. (1999). Effectiveness of a video-based motivational skills-building risk-reduction intervention for inner-city African American men. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(6), 959-966.

The Intervention

A Package Developed from Science
Replicating Effective Programs (REP) is a CDC-initiated project that supports the translation of evidence-base HIV/AIDS prevention interventions into everyday practice, by working with the original researchers in developing a user-friendly package of materials designed for prevention providers. Nia is one of the REP interventions and is the product of extensive collaboration among the researchers and UT Southwestern faculty and staff. The package was field tested in three prevention agencies in Florida by non-research staff.

Core Elements
Core Elements are intervention components that must be maintained without alteration to ensure program effectiveness.

The Core Elements of Nia are:

  • Conducting small group sessions with men who have sex with women that are led by culturally competent male and female co-facilitators who:
    • use videos and movie clips appropriate for and appealing to men to present HIV information, motivate risk-reduction, and build skills for handling common risk situations
    • challenge negative attitudes towards women through group rules that disallow adversarial language against women
  • Correcting misperceptions and misinformation regarding HIV by using gender and culturally appropriate videos and interactive exercises, especially:
    • providing Personal Feedback Report on HIV knowledge
    • showing and leading discussion of HIV educational videos
    • conducting Myths and Facts activity
    • conducting HIV Risk Continuum activity
  • Inducing and enhancing motivation to reduce risks for HIV by having men identify themselves and their behavior with the HIV epidemic through:
    • providing Personal Feedback Report on sex behaviors and condom attitudes
    • showing and leading discussion of videos featuring men who have been affected by HIV with whom participants can identify
    • conducting HIV Risk Continuum activity
    • eliciting and exploring personal risky sexual situations
  • Building skills for identifying and managing sexual risk situations:
    • eliciting and exploring personal risky sexual situations
    • building trigger-identifying and safer sex decision-making skills
    • facilitating trigger-identification and safer sex decision making skills using movie clips
  • Enhancing motivation and building behavioral skills for condom use or safer sex by:
    • exploring attitudes towards and pros/cons for condom use
    • identifying safer sex alternatives
    • building behavioral skills for correctly using condoms and communicating sexual decisions regarding condom use
    • guiding practice of condom use and safer sex decisions using movie clips

Package Contents

  • Program Manager’s Guide
  • Facilitator’s Guide
  • Evaluation Field Manual Forms
  • Technical Assistance Guide

Timeline for Availability
Development of the REP package is complete. The intervention package and training will be made available in the future.

For More Information on the Nia Project Package
To find out more about future trainings, please visit Effective Interventions.