Introduction and Background
The arsenal of interventions to reduce the disproportionate rates of HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) infection among Latinos in the United States lags behind what is available for other populations. The purpose of this project was to develop an intervention that builds on existing community strengths to promote sexual health among immigrant Latinas.
Our community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership engaged in a multistep intervention development process. The steps were to (1) increase Latina participation in the existing partnership, (2) establish an intervention team, (3) review the existing sexual health literature, (4) explore health-related needs and priorities of Latinas, (5) narrow priorities based on what is important and changeable, (6) blend health behavior theory with Latinas’ lived experiences, (7) design an intervention conceptual model, (8) develop training modules and (9) resource materials, and (10) pretest and (11) revise the intervention.
The MuJEReS intervention contains five modules to train Latinas to serve as lay health advisors (LHAs) known as “Comadres.” These modules synthesize locally collected data with other local and national data, blend health behavior theory with the lived experiences of immigrant Latinas, and harness a powerful existing community asset, namely, the informal social support Latinas provide one another.
This promising intervention is designed to meet the sexual health priorities of Latinas. It extends beyond HIV and STDs and frames disease prevention within a sexual health promotion framework. It builds on the strong, preexisting social networks of Latinas and the preexisting, culturally congruent roles of LHAs.
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Dr. Rhodes is a public health scientist whose research focuses on health promotion and disease prevention among Latinos and other vulnerable populations using authentic approaches to empowerment and community-based participatory research (CBPR).
Ms. Kelley is a MPH candidate with a concentration in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, whose research interests include infectious diseases, health disparities and global health.
Ms. Simán, originally from El Salvador, is a Latino community advocate, health educator, and program administrator who is committed to empowerment and community capacity development among Latina women and Latino men.
Ms. Cashman is committed to authentic approaches to public health program development and implementation; she currently coordinates such activities within urban community health centers and works to increase access to healthcare for underserved populations.
Mr. Alonzo, originally from Peru, is a program manager who is committed to meeting the health care needs of immigrants through the careful and informed development, implementation, and evaluation of meaningful interventions designed to meet community priorities and needs.
Dr. McGuire, fluent in Spanish, is a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a health educatorwith specific interests in Latina women's health.
Ms. Wellendorf, a Mexican American originally from Los Angeles, CA, is a community advocate and health educator working with Latina women and adolescents on sexual health issues.
Ms. Hinshaw is a community educator and organizer on behalf of the Latino community.
Dr. Boeving Allen is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on the psychological adjustment of women, children, and families in the context of chronic illness.
Mr. Downs, originally from Nicaragua, is a health educator who coordinates the Latino Partnership project, a community-level soccer team-based social network intervention to promote sexual health among heterosexual immigrant Latino men in central North Carolina.
Mrs. Brown is a health educator with >10 years, experience working on the development and implementation of innovative sexual health interventions for, and in close partnership with, local communities.
Mr. Martinez, originally from Havana, Cuba, is a law student whose interests include the intersections of immigration policy and immigrant health; he is particularly interested in improving the health and wellbeing of undocumented immigrant Latinos and other disenfranchised communities.
Ms. Duck is the Executive Director of Chatham Social Health Council, community-based organization to meet the sexual health needs of neglected populations in rural North Carolina.
Dr. Reboussin is a biostatistician whose interests include innovative approaches to evaluating risk-related outcomes within large community trials.
Published online: April 09, 2012
Accepted: February 21, 2012
Received in revised form: February 17, 2012
Received: June 26, 2011
Supported in part by Grant # R24MD002774 to Dr. Rhodes.
© 2012 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.