1st Draft of Project Proposal

Specific Aims
The aims of this study include researching the HIV prevention methods taught in Coimbatore, India and to gain a better understanding of the knowledge that women have about HIV transmission. 
I believe that women in southern India do not have a correct idea of HIV transmission. They have incorrect knowledge of how HIV is transmitted (e.g. they believe that if they are in a marriage they are safe from HIV).
Background and Significance
HIV is one of the most devastating diseases today. It affects millions of lives and as of today there is no known cure. The only medication that is available is antiretroviral therapy, which is a series of expensive medications that must be taken for the rest of the infected person’s life.  As a result, the most effective method for improving HIV is preventing it. Thus, prevention method programs are vital to the success of improving lives throughout the world. Women are among the population that are greatly affected by HIV, especially in India because India has the 3rd highest rate of HIV in the world due in part to the high prevalence of sex workers. As previously stated, the complication with HIV prevention is that research is showing that many of the women that are becoming more infected are the women that are in a monogamous relationship. They are doing everything in their power to have a safe lifestyle; however, they still become infected through their husbands who are not in a faithful relationship. In addition, many women have viewed perceptions of HIV and how it is transmitted. This may also be a contributing factor for the high number of women that are infected.  Furthermore, there is a stigma that is attached to HIV that makes it difficult to discuss. Most people do not think that it is appropriate to talk about HIV infection and believe false infection ideas such as HIV can be spread through kissing. It is apparent that developing an effective prevention program is difficult under such circumstances and as a result I am interested in researching what prevention methods are being taught and how effective they are.
Description of Subjects
The subjects will be women in southern India. These women can be either HIV positive or negative; however, this data will not be collected. The subject that will be studied will be the knowledge on HIV prevention.
All raw data will only be available to myself. I will keep the data under lock and key in my suitcase or a lock box if available. Names and ages will be collected in order to keep track of the subjects. However, these names will not be shared with anyone else.
Method or Procedures
Interviews will be conducted with a translator and notes will be taken by hand. Interviews will be organized and discussed in my final research paper. Topics discussed in the interview will include the woman’s history: what type of education she has had, is she married or single, what are her daily activities. This will help us get a better understanding of the background of the subject and her lifestyle (e.g. if she has had the opportunity to have a formal education or not).
After an idea of the lifestyle of the subject has been gained questions will then be asked about the subject’s basic knowledge of health. What health is, how to stay healthy, if they view health as an important subject, etc. etc. Then the subject will be asked questions regarding HIV: what is HIV, how is it contracted, how does the subject view HIV. Questions will also be asked regarding how the subject got his/her information.

Many risks will be attached to the subject matter. Since subjects may be HIV positive they could potentially be caused discomfort by speaking about their knowledge on the way the illness is contracted. Also, HIV has a stigma that causes others to not want to discuss it. If a person is not HIV before discussing their knowledge about the disease, and they find that they are at risk they could be lead to get tested. This knowledge will change the life of the person and how they act.

Participants will learn more about HIV, the risks of infection and the participants could get HIV tested which would allow them know about their status. Hopefully the social stigma that is attached to HIV will be addressed and some will change their opinion about the transmission of HIV and those who are infected. More knowledge will be acquired in general about a disease that is causing a lot of harm to the people.

The only compensation will be given to the translators, the subjects themselves will receive no compensation. This compensation will be determined on the proper payment practices, which will be learned upon arrival in India.

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As a Public Health major I have taken many classes that qualifies me for this project. I have studied in depth infectious disease, program planning, international health, and women’s health. I am almost done with my major and as a result I have rigorously studied how to promote health education. In addition, I have also taken a course through the Red Cross in which I became certified to teach about HIV to high risk populations.