“Intravention,” prevention activities that are conducted by and sustained through ongoing actions of members of communities-at-risk, is an appropriate goal for HIV intervention activities. Data from 120 injection drug users in a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood that has seen decreases in HIV prevalence among IDUs and little HIV diffusion to young adults indicate that most of them have recently (3 months) urged other people to engage in one or more self-protective actions. These data suggest that the common image of IDUs as simply being sources of social and medical problems is inaccurate. Research is needed into how to create and diffuse “communities of intravention; ” and we suggest that behavioral interventions be evaluated for their success or failure at creating outward-focused health communication by participants as well as for their impact on individual risk behaviors.
Urging others to be healthy: “Intravention” by injection drug users as a community prevention goal