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Empowering hard-to-reach minority populations to improve their health through HIV prevention education, testing and counseling: The Family Van/Latin American Health Institute joint venture

Alba Cruz, PhD, MPH1, Marolí Licardi, MEd2, Caroline Figueroa1, Michelle Contreras, MA3, Elizabeth Matos, MPH4, and Jason D. Copeland1. (1) The Family Van Program, Harvard Medical School, 1542 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA 02120, 617-442-3200, alba_cruz@hms.harvard.edu, (2) Division of Family Services and Community Health, Latin American Health Institute, 95 Berkeley Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02116, (3) Adolescent Network for Today Program, Latin American Health Institute, 95 Berkeley Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02116, (4) Community Health Unit, Latin American Health Institute, 95 Berkeley Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02116

The prevalence rate of HIV infection and AIDS cases in the United States has increased steadily from 1999 to 2002. Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS increased 3.2% from 2001 to 2002. Among racial and ethnic minorities there has been an increase among Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Although rates have stabilized among Blacks, they represented 54% of all new diagnoses of HIV/AIDS in 2002. Data for Boston are reflective of national trends. The HIV rate among Hispanic and Black residents was higher than the overall Boston rate (46.1% vs. 43%, respectively). The AIDS incidence rate for Blacks and Hispanics between 1992 and 1999 was also higher compared to that of Whites and Boston overall. Recent accomplishments have been made in HIV/AIDS prevention through widespread routine HIV counseling and community-based interventions that have increased awareness and promoted risk reduction behavior. The Family Van Program at Harvard Medical School, a community-based mobile health services model of care with over a decade of experience, is collaborating with the Latin American Health Institute to address the issue of HIV/AIDS among Boston’s most hard-to-reach populations through two unique programs: Adolescent Network for Today (targeting youth ages 13-24) and Infórmate (targeting adults), both of which conduct outreach, HIV education, testing, and counseling. This presentation will describe this collaborative effort and the role that the Family Van plays in engaging individuals at risk for HIV/AIDS. The educational risk reduction strategies employed by the Family Van via both programs will be highlighted. Data documenting the collaboration’s success will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of this session, the participant (learner) will be able to

    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Community-Based Partnership

    Related Web page: www.familyvan.org

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
    Relationship: I am the Executive Director of the Family Van Program.

    HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: Latino and Hispanic Health

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