183219 What do men who serve as lay health advisors really do?: Immigrant Latino men share their experiences as Navegantes to prevent HIV

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 11:10 AM

Aaron T. Vissman, MPH , Social Science and Health Policy, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Eugenia Eng, MPH, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Robert Aronson, DrPH , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Fred Bloom, PhD , Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Jaime Montaño , Chatham Social Health Council, Pittsboro, NC
Background: HoMBReS: Hombres Manteniendo Bienestar y Relaciones Saludables is an intervention designed to reduce HIV infection among recently-arrived, non-English-speaking Latino men who are members of Latino soccer teams.

Methods: Using an abbreviated life-story narrative approach and grounded theory, our community-based participatory research partnership collected, analyzed, and interpreted qualitative data to better understand and characterize the roles played by the male lay health advisors known as “Navegantes.”

Results: Nine Latino men, who served as Navegantes for over 12 months each, were interviewed. Their mean age was 39 years (range 26-62 years), English-language proficiency was limited; 6 were from Mexico and 3 from El Salvador.

Navegantes reported distributing condoms and discussing sexual health and risks, individual sexual problems, and general health. They reported feeling appreciated by community members, filling an important gap as the “only” resource for Latino men in their community. They described the local commercial sex work industry; how they used condom distribution as a way to initiate discussions; and how they “grew” through the process of being trained and serving as Navegantes: increased confidence, public-speaking skills, and assertiveness. They noted the need for more locally produced lower literacy materials and better structure of their network to help them meet their roles as community advocates.

Conclusions: Immigrant Latino men can successfully provide supportive helping activities for the prevention of HIV within their own communities. Identifying their successes and challenges from an emic perspective provides insights into the needs of the community and the talents and needs of the Navegantes themselves.

Learning Objectives:
1. Delineate the foundation and framework of an ongoing community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership in rural NC. 2. Describe the informal roles played by male Latino lay health advisors. 3. Outline qualitative outcomes identified by group of Latino male lay health advisors. 4. Apply these findings to future HIV prevention efforts within vulnerable populations.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Experience in qualitative data analysis
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.