Founded in 1993, the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health is one of the 26 Prevention Research Centers across the US funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Center focuses on reducing health risks among underserved populations throughout the state of Alabama and plays a leading role in the development of community-based participatory research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
As a designated UAB University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Center, the Center for the Study of Community Health offers a unique prevention research environment that includes Center Scholars from a cross section of disciplines including clinicians, researchers, health-related professionals, social and behavioral scientists, and community leaders who are setting new standards in the state of Alabama and around the world.
The Center has a defined rural region (Black Belt) and urban setting (Birmingham) as its geographic focus. Two primary community partnerships have developed as a result of the Centers educational, research, and service activities in communities that make up these regions. With support from the Center, both the West Central Alabama Community Health Improvement League and Congregations for Public Health formed infrastructures that enabled them to become designated 501(c)3 organizations.
To expand support for our core research project and other initiatives in the urban setting, the Jefferson County Community Participation Board provides ongoing, broad-based community input and guidance in planning and implementation of Center research, education, and service activities.
The core research project, CITY Health II, focuses on increasing HIV testing and protective sexual practices while reducing risky HIV-related behaviors among African-American emerging adults living in underserved areas of Birmingham, AL. Investigators will recruit 500 18-25 year olds to participate in an RCT to test the efficacy of “The Beat HIVe”, a video series featuring local, audience-identified musicians discussing various HIV topics (i.e., HIV testing, condom use, HIV transmission, etc.) with experts in the field. The series was created with input from the target audience and filmed entirely in Birmingham. Treatment participants will have the opportunity to watch the videos and also share them with their online social network. Researchers will track the diffusion of the videos through social media shares and measure any synergistic effect of receiving the intervention and sharing it with peers simultaneously.
The UAB Center for the Study of Community Health is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program and is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement number U48/DP005037.