Large-scale structural interventions and “Big Events” like revolutions, wars and major disasters can affect HIV transmission by changing the sizes of at-risk populations, making high-risk behaviors more or less likely, or changing contexts in which risk occurs. This paper describes new measures to investigate hypothesized pathways that could connect macro-social changes to subsequent HIV transmission. We developed a “menu” of novel scales and indexes on topics including norms about sex and drug injecting under different conditions, experiencing denial of dignity, agreement with cultural themes about what actions are needed for survival or resistance, solidarity and other issues. We interviewed 298 at-risk heterosexuals and 256 men who have sex with men in New York City about these measures and possible validators for them. Most measures showed evidence of criterion validity (absolute magnitude of Pearson’s r >/= 0.20) and reliability (Cronbach’s alpha >/= 0.70). These measures can be (cautiously) used to understand how macro-changes affect HIV and other risk. Many can also be used to understand risk contexts and dynamics in more normal situations. Additional efforts to improve and to replicate the validation of these measures should be conducted.
New measures for research on men who have sex with men and for at-risk heterosexuals: Tools to study links between structural interventions or large-scale social change and HIV risk behaviors, service use, and infection
AIDS and Behavior, 24 (1), 257-273. doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02582-w. PMCID: PMC6954343.