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HIV among urban Latino males in northwestern North Carolina: Formative results and recommendations for primary and secondary prevention interventions

Patrick Bowden, PA (c), Physician Assistant (PA) Program, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Victoria Hall, 111 North Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, 336-971-7789, pabowden@wfubmc.edu, Scott D. Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES, Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Section on Social Sciences and Health Policy, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1063, Aimee Wilkin, MD, MPH, Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, Christine Jolly, AIDS Care Service, Inc, PO Box 21373, Winston-Salem, NC 27120, and Monica Brown, Forsyth County Public Health Department, 799 North Highland Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Background: Latinos living in the US are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The primary objective of this study was to collect, analyze, and interpret formative data to understand and characterize: socio-cultural determinants of HIV risk and HIV/AIDS service (counseling, testing, care, and treatment) utilization among immigrant Latino males living with HIV/AIDS in northwestern North Carolina.

Methods: A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was used to enhance research quality and validity by involving lay community members, organizational representatives, and university researchers and practitioners in all phases of the research process. In-depth key-informant interviews with local stakeholders, including representatives from local community health- and Latino- serving organizations and agencies (n=7), lay community members (n=8), and Latino males living with HIV/AIDS (n=15) were completed.

Coding via a Grounded Theory approach, in conjunction with analysis using Nvivo and various iterations of member checking, was used to identify themes.

Results: Socioeconomic factors, male gender socialization, language barriers and perceived racism were identified as barriers to prevention and service utilization. Latino men with HIV/AIDS feel “invisible” while living with the virus, not having the advantages of social and community support and care and treatment that currently are available. Besides the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, participants reported not feeling they need to be seen by a doctor, and not knowing their T-cell counts and their viral loads.

Conclusions: An urgent need exists to address the health of Latino immigrants through authentic participatory approaches. Phase two of this research, which includes the development of a lay health advisor intervention known as AMiGOS (Ayudando a Mi Gente a Permanecer Orgullosa y Saludable) will be presented.

Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Latinos, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: Latino and Hispanic Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA