New Report Stresses Need for Latino Participation in Community-Based HIV Prevention Efforts
Members of the Latino community "must take an active role in the HIV prevention community planning process to ensure that their voices are heard in the development of effective HIV prevention interventions," according to a recently released report (National Minority AIDS Council release, 4/15). The report, titled "The State of Latinos in Community Planning," was drafted by the National Minority AIDS Council, the CDC, the National Association of People With AIDS, the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the Center for Community-Based Health Strategies. The report lists several barriers that impede Latino involvement in community planning groups, including language and cultural differences and socioeconomic status. In addition, many Latinos would like to see Latino leaders provide a stronger voice in the development of HIV prevention policy and program design. Latino communities can take three steps to achieve greater involvement in local, state and federal responses to HIV transmission, the report states. First, Latinos can provide local expertise to support prevention programs that "consider the special characteristics, needs and preferences of the communities these programs are designed to reach." Second, Latinos should aid in the development of comprehensive HIV prevention plans and work to alter risky behaviors. Third, community groups can attract greater Latino participation by showing Latinos that "their involvement will make a difference." Groups should also make an effort to include Latinos living with HIV/AIDS in their efforts ("The State of Latinos in Community Planning," March 2002).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.