The principal goal of this project is to conduct a cross-sectional social epidemiologic and behavioral research study for the purposes of characterizing different risk factors associated with HIV infection acquisition and transmission among impoverished, Hispanic women in Puerto Rico living in public housing. The general hypothesis behind the proposed research is that risk of HIV acquisition and transmission for these women is exacerbated by various individual, social and environmental factors unique to the public housing environment and in order to decrease HIV risk, these factors must be identified and measured. 1. Measure HIV/STI prevalence and incidence among women living in public housing developments (PHDs) in Ponce, Puerto Rico (PR). 2. Identify individual, social, and environmental factors contributing to increased HIV/STI risk for Hispanic women living in PHDs in Ponce, PR. 3. Determine the feasibility of an HIV prevention intervention targeting Hispanic women living in PHDs in Ponce, PR. The significance of the proposed research will enhance knowledge and understanding of multilevel factors that influence HIV/STI risk behaviors as well as the consequences and differences in HIV-associated risks among impoverished women Latina women living in public housing in Puerto Rico. Qualitative and quantitative social epidemiological and behavioral sciences approaches will be used to target impoverished women living in PHDs. By including women from this population, comparisons of HIV/STI risk factors and outcomes can be made, providing a much needed picture of the scope of risks for impoverished women in Puerto Rico and how prevention messages and programs will need to be tailored.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Centers in Minority Institutions Award (G12)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-1 (01))
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Ponce School of Medicine
United States
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