PROJECT: A pilot test of a behavioral intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior among personnel with PTSD in the armed forces of the Dominican Republic.
OBJECTIVE: Mental health disorders which are prevalent in populations at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may compromise wide-scale prevention efforts aimed at reducing sexual risk behavior. In our recent research, we documented that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was prevalent and linked with several HIV risk behaviors among military personnel stationed along border crossing zones with Haiti. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is emerging as a promising psychotherapy for PTSD. IPT is a time-limited, dynamically informed psychotherapy which aims to alleviate symptoms and improve interpersonal functioning, and is a model of psychotherapy that can be successfully implemented in resource limited settings. In this project, we are aiming to pilot a group IPT intervention among Dominican military personnel stationed along border crossing zones with Haiti, with the aim of reducing symptoms of PTSD and reducing sexual risk behavior. The project is funded by the United States Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, and the Principal Investigator is Dr. Mike Anastario.