Monday, November 5, 2007

Liany Elba Arroyo, MPH, CPH , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
L. Amparo Pinzón , Consultant, Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Carlos A. Ugarte, MSPH , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, with a much younger median age (26 years old) than the total US population (35 years old). Nearly half (48.2%) of the Hispanic population is under the age of 29. The youthfulness of the Hispanic population and the fact that nearly a quarter of the population is in its prime reproductive years necessitates an understanding of how Latinos make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

With this in mind, the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Institute for Hispanic Health, in partnership with Berlex, Inc., designed a study to explore knowledge, attitudes, practices, and beliefs among Latinos related to family planning, contraceptive use, and the decision-making process surrounding contraception. Sixteen focus group discussions were conducted in Spanish with 160 adults – male and female community members, and promotores de salud (health lay workers) – of Latino origin at four NCLR community-based Affiliate organizations in New York, Maryland, Florida and California.

Its findings highlight the need to increase the effectiveness of public information and community outreach efforts for Latinos on reproductive health issues. It also shows the importance of having health education and prevention programs targeted for Latinos, which include strategies to enhance communication and trust between couples and foster men's knowledge and responsibilities related to sexual health, among other things.

This presentation will summarize the major findings of this project and present the design of a linguistically- and culturally-relevant health education tool kit for promotores to share with their Latino communities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Expand knowledge on Latinos’ view on family planning methods and other sexual and reproductive health issues. 2. Identify male and female perspectives in choosing family planning methods and the decision-making process surrounding contraceptive use. 3. Discuss the need of having culturally- and linguistically-appropriate reproductive health education programs for Latinos.

Keywords: Latinos, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.