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HoMBReS: A lay health advisor approach to HIV and STD prevention for Latino men in rural North Carolina

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, 336/713.5080, srhodes@wfubmc.edu, Eugenia Eng, DrPH, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Rosenau Hall - Campus Box 7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400, and Ivan M. Remnitz, MA, Hispanic Liaison/El Vinculo Hispano, Chatham Communities In Action, 234 Fearrington Post, Pittsboro, NC 27312-8555.

Background: Latinos in the US have been disproportionately affected by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The primary objective of this ongoing study was to: develop and implement an intervention to reduce sexual risk among members of an adult male Latino soccer league in central North Carolina, USA, using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach.

Methods: A nine-county, 1,800-member adult male Latino soccer league is the study setting. Using an iterative process, a co-learning partnership of community members and researchers developed a multi-level intervention known as: HoMBReS: Hombres Manteniendo Bienestar y Relaciones Saludables (Men: Men Maintaining Wellbeing and Healthy Relationships) that has been funded by CDC. This theoretically-sound intervention incorporates lay health advisor models, theories of immigrant incorporation, and community capacity development.

Using quasi-experimental delayed-intervention comparison group design, 15 lay health advisors known as "Navegantes" have been trained from 15 different teams to serve as: sexual health advisors, popular opinion leaders, and community activists to promote menís sexual health. Quantitative baseline data have been collected from members of the 15 intervention (n=150) and 15 delayed-intervention comparison teams (n=150).

Results: Participants have mobilized and organized for change. The HoMBReS intervention, which focuses on: increasing access to culturally-relevant educational and prevention services; exploring internalized feelings of temporary status; and, addressing racial discrimination and prejudice and pressures to conform to norms around hegemonic masculinity through multiple levels and strategies, is promising based on preliminary process data analysis.

Conclusions: An urgent need exists to address the health issues facing newly-arrived immigrants through authentic participatory approaches. The developmental process and preliminary implementation and evaluation of the HoMBReS curriculum will be presented.

Learning Objectives: Objectives