261438 Outreach for HIV-Positive Latino Immigrants: Recruitment and retention lessons from a research study

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rita Melendez, PhD , Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Jorge Zepeda, LCSW , Director of Latino Programs, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, CA
Gabriela Alaniz, MPH , Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco State Unviersity, San Francisco, CA
Hector Carrillo, PhD , Sociology Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Background: To achieve wellness across the lifespan, health care workers need to reach out to hard to reach populations to engage them in health care. HIV-positive Latino immigrants are a hard to reach population and due to multiple factors are less likely to engage in needed health services. Challenges for their health care include: lack of access to jobs and health insurance, stigma of being HIV-positive, lack of knowledge surrounding health care, and distrust of organizations due to documentation concerns. Methods: Proyecto Acceso is a three-year research study assessing health care issues among HIV-positive Latino immigrants to the US. Participants were interviewed at two time points 9 to 12 months apart. Results: The research team encountered initial difficulties recruiting for participants. Upon re-evaluation of recruitment techniques we focused on three areas: 1) engaging in individual conversations with individuals and formulating relationships; 2) ensuring that the recruiter was also the interviewer for the study so participants could maintain a relationship with one person; and 3) maintaining a relationship with the participant in the interview and upon re-contact which also assisted in positive word-of-mouth for the study. We were able to reach our recruitment goal by interviewing 127 participants and re-interviewing 73% of participants. Conclusions: Recruitment challenges faced by the study have a direct impact in service providers. Many of the same recruitment and retention techniques used by the research study could greatly increase use of health services by HIV-positive Latino immigrants.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the importance of reaching out to HIV-positive Latinos and the challenges Identify successful outreach techniques for HIV-positive Latinos Formulate guidelines for organizations as well as research studies to recruit HIV-positive Latinos

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Access Immigration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the priciple investigator for the project funded through CHRP. I have worked in HIV prevention and treatment for over 10 years.
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.