175344 Protecting our Community by Talking our Stories: Culturally Appropriate HIV Capacity Building Among Pacific Islander Organizations in Southern California

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lola Sablan Santos , Guam Communications Network, Long Beach, CA
Lourdes Flores Quitugua , Guam Communications Network, Long Beach, CA
Jonathan Lepule , Pacific Islander Festival Association, San Diego, CA
Tony Maguadog , National Organization for the Advancement of Chamorro People, Long Beach, CA
Rose Perez , National Organization for the Advancement of Chamorro People, Long Beach, CA
Steve Young , Kanana Fou Samoan Congregational Christian Church, Lomita, CA
Louise Young , Kanana Fou Samoan Congregational Christian Church, Lomita, CA
Lois M. Takahashi, PhD , Department of Urban Planning, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
The Pacific Islander HIV Capacity Building Project, supported by a three-year grant from the US Office of Minority Health, uses workshops, family/community gatherings, cultural/religious events, and organizational coaching/mentoring to build skills, confidence, and networks for HIV prevention among Pacific Islanders in Southern California. The four organizations participating in the program are secular and faith-based, represent Chamorros/Guamanians, Samoans, Melanesians, Micronesians and Polynesians, and are located in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties. There is very little research on Pacific Islanders and sexually transmitted diseases. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that youth incarceration, substance abuse, and domestic violence are important issues among these groups, indicating that HIV prevention is a needed service. This program was designed and is being delivered using the Pacific Islander cultural values of family, faith, and respect. Building on these fundamental cultural values, the program is working to enable the organizational partners to initiate “talking stories” about HIV/AIDS among themselves and within their communities by creating a comforting environment for skills building. This presentation will focus on the results to date of the program (currently in its second year), and will highlight the ways that “talking stories” about HIV/AIDS directly addresses the stigma, shame, and fear associated with HIV/AIDS. The preliminary results include expanded organizational management skills, knowledge concerning HIV/AIDS, and research skills (including the developing and administering of questionnaires). The implications of the program will be discussed for Asian Pacific Islander secular and faith-based organization capacity building centering on stigmatized health conditions such as HIV/AIDS.

Learning Objectives:
(1) understand the Pacific Islander HIV Capacity Building Project’s capacity building approach (and the culturally based assumptions) that guides its design and delivery; and (2) understand how interventions such as “talking stories” are culturally appropriate interventions for Pacific Islanders, and clarify the implications of this approach for capacity building programs in other communities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Executive Director of Guam Communications Network, which is the grantee for the project (grant from US Office of Minority Health).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.