243353 National HIV/AIDS Initiative: Addressing the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on the US African-born refuge and immigrant population

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Margaret Korto, MBA MHA , OMHRC, Rockville
Sara Woldenhanna, MA , OMHRC, Kesington
Issues: HIV is still a major health crisis affecting U.S. communities of color. Unlike other minority groups, African immigrants and refugees lacked an indigenous body advocating and working to address the many barriers to effective HIV prevention, care and support. Description: Since 2007, the National HIV/AIDS Initiative (NAHI), a national collaborative network of African immigrant providers and CBOs, convened four regional summits as part of formative research to develop an action plan to address the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic among African immigrants and refugees in U.S. A qualitative assessment rendered useful understanding of key processes in the formation of NAHI, and defined the path forward which includes: data collection workgroup, culturally competent technical assistance to providers and organizations, shareable data surveillance infrastructure, and anti stigma education for community and providers. An area of further research is the need for increased health literacy among this population. Lessons learned: The role of faith leaders is underestimated and not adequately understood. Stigma is the greatest barrier to HIV/AIDS prevention in this community. Providers are in need of significant culturally competent education. There is a need for community based participatory research to inform the current outreach practices to the African immigrant community. While the grass roots nature of this initiative was strength, it pointed to a multiplicity of challenges that need to be taken into account for replication. Recommendations: Develop African focused anti stigma curriculum for health care providers. Equip African American serving organizations with tools to address the needs of the African Immigrant community.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the results of NAHIís work and its goals and objectives. 2. Describe at least three lessons learned and three best practices for HIV prevention in African immigrant and refugee communities. 3. Define the organizational infrastructure needs and steps to community mobilization necessary for replication of this or similar initiatives. 4. Demonstrate the integration of community based participatory research (CBPR) to the work with immigrant populations in the U.S.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I evaluate the African immigrant program
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.

See more of: HIV/AIDS & Social Justice
See more of: HIV/AIDS