Two Miami-Area Universities Receive NIH Grants To Study HIV/AIDS, Other Health Issues Among HispanicsNIH's National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities recently awarded five-year grants totaling $13.5 million to two Miami-area universities to research Hispanic health issues -- including HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections and substance abuse -- the Miami Herald reports.
Florida International University plans to use its $6.5 million grant to expand its Center for Research on U.S. Latinos, HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse, also known as CRUSADA. Some of the funding will be used to expand CRUSADA's "You Gotta Know, Hay Que Saber" program, which aims to increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS among young people. FIU also plans to develop tactics for Hispanic women to persuade their partners to use condoms.
The University of Miami will use its $7 million grant to expand its Center of Excellence for Hispanic Health Disparities Research, also known as El Centro. Nilda Peragallo, dean of UM's School of Nursing and Health Studies, said the school will study HIV/AIDS rates among Hispanic women. The university also will research HIV prevention methods among Hispanics. The two schools also plan to collaborate on several studies.
"There's a growing problem of HIV/AIDS in Miami's Hispanic community, and among Hispanics nationwide," Mario De La Rosa, director of CRUSADA, said, adding, "The population in Miami is in many ways different than in the rest of the country. It hopefully will provide us with some answers as to why Latinos abuse substances and why there's a growing rate of AIDS."
According to CDC, the South Florida metropolitan area -- which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties -- had the highest rate of new AIDS cases per 100,000 people in the U.S. from 2003 to 2005. Only New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, had more new reported AIDS cases among Hispanic women in 2004. Experts at UM and FIU said that HIV/AIDS awareness programs aimed at other groups might not be as effective among Hispanics because of cultural and language barriers (Corral, Miami Herald, 12/27/07). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.