$42,676 NIH Grant to Teach Yoga to Drug-Abusing HIV-Positive Convicts

By Melanie Arter | February 12, 2015 | 10:09am EST

Times Square Yoga

People practice yoga in New York's Times Square, Friday, June 21, 2013. Yoga enthusiasts marked the longest day of the year with five free "Mind Over Madness" yoga classes in Times Square. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(CNSNews.com) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded $42,676 in taxpayer funds to the University of Pennsylvania to teach yoga to drug-abusing convicts with HIV to help them once they are released from prison.

“The proposed study will impact people with HIV and a substance use disorder who are re-entering the community from prison, a population with increased risk of high viral burden, and therefore an increased risk of infectiousness and drug resistance,” the grant stated.

“Looking at the effects of a Hatha yoga intervention (HYI) on stress, substance use, antiretroviral therapy medication adherence, viral load and coping self-efficacy will inform knowledge of interventions that improve health outcomes for this population,” it stated.

“Participants will be randomized to either treatment as usual” which consists of “case management services” or yoga intervention consisting of 12-weekly 90-minute yoga classes as well as case management services.

The yoga and case management services study will examine the effects of yoga on stress, substance abuse, antiretroviral therapy medication adherence, viral load and coping self-efficacy compared to treatment as usual with just case management services.

It will also examine participants’ perspectives about how they respond to stress and “how these stress responses are affected by treatment assignment to yoga or case management services.

“Findings will inform the development of interventions for people with HIV” and substance abuse who are released from prison.

The project start date is listed as Sept. 4, 2014 and ends on Sept. 3, 2017. The budget start date is listed as Sept. 4, 2014 and ends on Sept. 3, 2015.

CNSNews.com contacted Alexandra Wimberly, project leader for the grant, for comment about the grant, but no response was given by press time.

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