142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Strategic communications to prevent HIV infections and reduce health disparities among Black and Hispanic young adults

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 9:06 AM - 9:24 AM

Elena Sebekos, MPH, CHES , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
William W. Darrow, PhD , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Background: As part of a comprehensive, culturally competent, community-based effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in HIV disease, strategic communications were used to inform Black and Hispanic young adult residents of high AIDS-incidence areas of Broward County, Florida, of the continuing threat of HIV transmission and the choices they could make to prevent infection.  The purpose of this study was to assess changing patterns of AIDS-related information access and use during an eight-year period of systematic program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interview surveys with at least 2000 residents of 12 ZIP-code areas were conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007.  Respondents had to self-identify as Black or Hispanic, be 18 to 39 years old, and live in one of the designated areas.  Interviews were conducted in English, Spanish, or Haitian Creole.

Results: Almost two thirds (65.3%) of the 7,843 respondents were women.  Although the proportion of residents who listened to the radio every day declined from 56.4% in 2001 to 49.9% in 2007, “talk shows” remained as a primary source of information about HIV/AIDS, especially among African Americans.  The greatest change in accessing information about HIV/AIDS occurred with respect to Internet use, which increased from 35.1% in 2001 to 57.5% in 2007.

Conclusions: Combination HIV-prevention programs should include a strategic communications component to keep at-risk populations well informed.  The REACH 2010 project in Broward County demonstrated how changing patterns of information access and use can affect levels of knowledge and understanding in vulnerable minority communities.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Assess a strategic communications initiative designed to increase knowledge, stimulate action, and reduce HIV incidence among diverse samples of Black and Hispanic 18-39 year old residents of Broward County, Florida, a metropolitan area with extremely high rates of AIDS morbidity and mortality. Compare most helpful sources of information about HIV/AIDS used by African American, Haitian, Jamaican and other Caribbean, and Hispanic young adults.

Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in Public Health who was involved in the analysis of the data.
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.