A.S.K. (Assisting with Services and Knowledge)

Principal Investigator: Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D.
Funded By: Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health, Division of HIV and STD Programs
Grant #: PH-001053
Total Project Period: 10/1/09 – 6/30/18

The A.S.K. Program provides culturally appropriate, HIV prevention case management (PCM) services that combine drug and sexual risk reduction. The A.S.K. Program recruits high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) and male-to-female (MTF) transgender women from The G.U.Y.S. Program and The TransAction Program. PCM is an evidenced-based intervention that was originally designed to target HIV-seropositive individuals. However, this intervention has also been beneficial to those who belong to communities with high HIV seroprevalence rates, are at particularly high risk and/or are underserved by less intensive prevention interventions. PCM is a tool that combines the intensive, individualized and well-rounded approach of individual case management, with the specific goal of reducing risky behaviors related to the transmission or acquisition of HIV. PCM, based on a client-centered philosophy, works to change those behaviors that put a participant at increased risk for HIV transmission and acquisition, focusing particularly on those participants that present with multiple and complex risk behaviors, and who have been unable to initiate or sustain changes in those behaviors with traditional prevention interventions. PCM focuses specifically on those services that are related to or influence HIV risk behaviors. The A.S.K. Program assesses HIV risk behaviors, other physical and mental health needs, as well as psychosocial needs. The A.S.K. Program provides multiple, one-on-one counseling sessions to help the participant assess their own personal risk, and create an individualized plan to initiate and maintain behavior change. By understanding the vast and complex factors that can impact HIV risk behaviors, the prevention case manager works with the participant to choose realistic and attainable behavior change goals.