XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Salud es cultura: protegete! Reinforcing positive cultural attributes to prevent HIV in underserved Latino communities through a community health worker intervention

B. Rios-Ellis1, M. Garcia2, E. Lilia2, S. Rodriquez-Nguyen1, B. Huerta3, A. Danzinger4, R. Zaldivar5

1NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Health Science, Long Beach, United States, 2NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Long Beach, United States, 3San Ysidro Health Center, CASA AIDS Services, San Ysidro, United States, 4Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, La Fe Care Center, El Paso, United States, 5The Wall/Las Memorias, Los Angeles, United States

Issues: Latinos are the youngest, fastest growing, and largest US minority group representing 16% of the US population. Latinos are more likely than all racial/ethnic groups to test late in the course of their infection, and to be diagnosed with AIDS within one year, and deceased within 18 months of learning of their seropositive status.
Description: The Salud es Cultura ¡Protégete! Project sought to decrease the stigma associated with HIV and increase the availability of culturally and linguistically relevant HIV/AIDS-related information through a community health worker-based (CHW) intervention. CHWs in Latino communities in El Paso, Texas and San Ysidro and Los Angeles, California were trained to implement the project and provided kits for outreach and education. Community Based Participatory Research techniques were employed to develop a portable CHW curriculum kit and materials. Testing of the curriculum and materials involved conducting charlas (educational sessions) with a total of 579 participants in the three target communities.
Lessons learned: The curriculum was found to significantly increase HIV/AIDS-related knowledge (p< .0001), intention to discuss HIV/AIDS with family and friends and suggest that a partner test for HIV (p< .03), and decrease the stigma associated with interacting with HIV positive persons (p< .0001). Following the outreach phase, 101 kits were distributed at five regional CHW trainings held in collaboration with Latino-focused community based organizations in San Ysidro and Long Beach, California, New York City, the District of Colombia, and Portland, Oregon. The success of the program led to subsequent funding and additional CHW trainings and distribution of kits in Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.
Next steps: This presentation will highlight the characteristics of the Salud es Cultura ¡Protégete! project, present the adapted CHW kit and materials, and discuss participant reactions and project outcomes. Data regarding the overall reach and dissemination of the kit and training will be shared.

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