Culturally Tailored Health Programs Can Help Improve Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, Study Shows
Programs that successfully lessen racial and ethnic health disparities can produce positive effects on diseases such as HIV/AIDS, according to new research in the April issue of Health Promotion Practice, a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published by the Society for Public Health Education. Hortensia Amaro and colleagues examined the effect of health education sessions on the behaviors, attitudes and HIV/AIDS awareness of a group of Latina women. In the United States, Latinas are twice as likely as white women to die of AIDS-related causes by the age of 29, and HIV infection among Latinas is six times higher than among non-Hispanic white women. The study evaluated the changes in Latinas' HIV knowledge and behaviors over a period of 12 weeks and at follow-up sessions held at three months and 15 months after the intervention. Latinas who attended the educational sessions showed gains in knowledge in the three-month follow-up session, but these gains had disappeared at the 15-month follow up. The study authors emphasized the need for periodic "booster sessions," more efforts to involve Latino males in HIV/AIDS prevention efforts and greater attempts to change cultural views regarding "the acceptability of condom use" (Center for the Advancement of Health release, 3/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.