Online Program

Developing a culturally-appropriate HIV intervention in Puerto Rico: Managing stigma and building resilience

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz, PhD, MPHE, MCHES, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Edgardo Ortiz-Sanchez, MPHE, CHES, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Gerardo Jovet-Toledo, MS, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Edda Santiago-Rodriguez, MPH, MA, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico- Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR
Ricardo Vargas-Molina, MA, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
HIV continues to disproportionally affect disenfranchised populations. This scenario is aggravated in contexts with poor political commitment to address the HIV epidemic, limited intervention research, and high levels of stigma. In order to respond to these needs and to inform the development of culturally-appropriate intervention to reduce stigma and increase access and retention in HIV care, a participatory mixed-method research and an evidenced-based model for intervention development has been implemented in Puerto Rico (PR). Qualitative interviews have been conducted with healthcare providers (HCP; N=22) and men who have sex with men (MSM; N=30). Similarly, a survey interview has been conducted among HIV+MSM (N=151). The lack of and poor implementation of policies and programs to provide culturally-appropriate interventions in PR are affecting the health of MSM in the island. Multiple negative encounters with HCP and high levels of HIV and gay-related stigma have been reported among HIV+MSM in PR. A pilot assessment of a stigma management intervention among HIV+MSM has evidenced the feasibility of fostering skills and resilience to disclose HIV status and access and engagement in healthcare. The development of interventions to reduce the impact of the HIV epidemic must consider the cultural context where implemented. The use of mixed-methods as well as participatory models is proving to be effective in supporting the needs to develop, implement, and assess the intervention. Policy analyses and actions are needed for the sustainability of the intervention in a setting with limited resources and characterized by high levels of stigma.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the implementation of mixed-methods and participatory research to inform the development of a culturally-appropriate HIV intervention. Discuss preliminary findings of the feasibility and effectiveness of an intervention aimed to manage experiences of stigma.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health scientist with over a decade of experience working in the HIV field. I am also the principal investigator of the study to be discussed in this presentation.
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.