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AIDS Educ Prev. 2007 Apr;19(2):173-86.

Key components of a theory-guided HIV prevention outreach model: pre-outreach preparation, community assessment, and a network of key informants.

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  • 1Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.


Although outreach frequently is used to provide community-based HIV prevention services to members of underserved populations, researchers may not be familiar with the specific components of and factors influencing outreach and how systematic community outreach methods can be used to recruit participants for research purposes. This article describes key components of a theory and PRECEDE-based outreach model developed and used as part of a broader study examining the feasibility of enhancing access to STD clinical services for sexually transmitted diseases in order to reduce HIV incidence. We present a three-part outreach model and describe lessons learned from implementing it. Factors that improved access to key informants who could facilitate participant recruitment during the outreach process included sustained project visibility in the community, outreach worker affiliation with trusted community-based organizations, and development of a reliable network of key informants. This model enabled a systematic approach to reaching community members and documenting the steps taken to do so.

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