Hoppers and oldheads: Qualitative evaluation of a volunteer AIDS outreach intervention

Julia Dickson-Gómez, Amy Knowlton, Carl Latkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Qualitative research can play an important role in explaining outcomes of behavioral interventions and constitutes a largely unrealized potential of ethnographic methods in AIDS research. The Self Help in Eliminating Life Threating Diseases (SHIELD) intervention trained African American injection drug users to conduct outreach among their drug-using peers and sexual partners. Though the intervention was not targeting adolescents, some participants chose to conduct outreach with youth fortuitously found on the street. Still others spoke to groups of youth in their homes. This paper seeks to understand the dynamics of outreach encounters between older, drug-using outreach workers and adolescents. Contextual features that were important in determining the quality of outreach encounters with youth included the setting (on the street or in the home), characteristics of the outreach worker such as gender, content of the outreach message, and style of interpersonal communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-315
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • HIV
  • Injection drug use
  • Outreach
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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