Healthcare Utilization and Sexual Health Information Seeking Among a Sample of Puerto Rican Female IDU
Methods. In collaboration with government and community-based organizations we conducted in-depth interviews with 35 women who had injected drugs in the past 12 months. Interviews were thematically analyzed and assessed barriers and facilitators to healthcare access, including HIV prevention and care and sexual health information seeking.
Results. Findings demonstrate that female IDUs face structural, social and personal barriers to accessing HIV and other health services, yet many feel empowered to overcome those barriers when it comes to their own sexual health needs. Most participants expressed positive views of the role and importance of sexual health in their lives.
Conclusions. Female IDUs in PR face numerous complex challenges when accessing healthcare services and seeking sexual health information. Results illustrate how drug use and rehabilitation can mediate female IDU’s HIV risks and understanding of sexual health. Findings suggest the need for outreach services and intervention research leading to HIV and STI risk reduction and greater sexual health awareness for female IDUs.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Identify barriers and facilitators to healthcare access among female Puerto Rican IDU as well as describe their experiences seeking sexual health information.
Keyword(s): Health Care Access, Women and HIV/AIDS
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 5 years of experiences conducting research in the realm of HIV. I have been the principal or co-principal investigator in studies focusing on sexual health and drug use among minority populations. I have completed both my PhD and MPH.
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.