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The Relate Project
Investigator: Megan Comfort
Project Partners: Olga Grinstead Reznick, Tor Neilands, Diane Binson, Philippe Bourgois,
Samantha Dilworth, Jackie Ramos, Malcolm Hoover, Claudia Smith, Bill Stewart, John Weeks,
Timoteo Rodriguez
This study, officially titled “HIV Risk Among Male Parolees and Their Female Partners,”
explored HIV risk among men who were released from prison within the last year and were on
parole at the time of study participation and their primary female partner. Between 2009 and
2011, 172 couples (344 individuals) were recruited from community sites in Oakland and San
Francisco for participation in a cross-sectional quantitative interview. Couples came to their
appointment together and each person was interviewed separately. A sub-sample of 24 people
also participated in a qualitative interview to provide more in-depth contextual information about
HIV risk and risk reduction among couples affected by incarceration. This study was funded by
the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH078743) from 2007-2012.
Our preliminary studies underscored the complexities of understanding how the context of a
man’s incarceration influences couples’ decision-making processes involving HIV risk and risk
reduction and compelled us to undertake couple-level research on this issue. Public-health
researchers have identified the necessity of developing and providing population-specific HIV
interventions and services for people affected by incarceration both in prison and in their home
neighborhoods post-release. Findings from this research have yield critical information about
HIV risk and risk reduction in dyadic relationships between male parolees and their female
partners. We hope that this information can be used to develop population-appropriate and
effective interventions for low-income people of color who experience their own or their
partner’s incarceration.

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Relate project abstract

  • 1. The Relate Project Investigator: Megan Comfort Project Partners: Olga Grinstead Reznick, Tor Neilands, Diane Binson, Philippe Bourgois, Samantha Dilworth, Jackie Ramos, Malcolm Hoover, Claudia Smith, Bill Stewart, John Weeks, Timoteo Rodriguez This study, officially titled “HIV Risk Among Male Parolees and Their Female Partners,” explored HIV risk among men who were released from prison within the last year and were on parole at the time of study participation and their primary female partner. Between 2009 and 2011, 172 couples (344 individuals) were recruited from community sites in Oakland and San Francisco for participation in a cross-sectional quantitative interview. Couples came to their appointment together and each person was interviewed separately. A sub-sample of 24 people also participated in a qualitative interview to provide more in-depth contextual information about HIV risk and risk reduction among couples affected by incarceration. This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH078743) from 2007-2012. Our preliminary studies underscored the complexities of understanding how the context of a man’s incarceration influences couples’ decision-making processes involving HIV risk and risk reduction and compelled us to undertake couple-level research on this issue. Public-health researchers have identified the necessity of developing and providing population-specific HIV interventions and services for people affected by incarceration both in prison and in their home neighborhoods post-release. Findings from this research have yield critical information about HIV risk and risk reduction in dyadic relationships between male parolees and their female partners. We hope that this information can be used to develop population-appropriate and effective interventions for low-income people of color who experience their own or their partner’s incarceration.