The principal objective of this proposed study is to continue efforts to develop the most effective combination of behavioral interventions to optimize the health status of one of the most neglected and understudied populations affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this country: Latina migrant workers. Findings from the current study with this population affirm the utility of cognitive-behavioral interventions in the short-term reduction of HIV-related risk behaviors, while improving awareness, self-efficacy, and coping skills. The proposed study will extend these findings in seeking to determine whether exposure to a Cognitive Behavioral HIV Prevention Intervention (A-SEMI II) can significantly produce long-term improvements in the ability of Latina migrant workers to take advantage of a health behavior change program encouraging the adoption and maintenance of healthier lifestyle behaviors (i.e., safer sexual practices and reduced alcohol use/abuse) essential for optimal health and in the context of preventing HIV infection. To accomplish these objectives, 250 Latina migrant workers from the Homestead and Florida City (South Florida) communities will be enrolled and randomized to one experimental intervention (A-SEMI II) and one comparison group (HPC) and followed at 6, 12, and 24 months to evaluate the long term effectiveness of the A-SEMI II intervention to improve health status and reduce HIV related high risk behavior. The proposed study follows a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach. This CBPR approach responds to the NIH priority on establishing equitable partnerships between community members and researchers with the final goal of increasing community participation in the research process, improving community health, and reducing HIV related health disparities.
This research project will delineate important HIV intervention strategies that can be practically implemented to improve adoption and maintenance of HIV risk reduction behaviors among high risk Latina migrant workers. This will eventually lead to a reduction and elimination of HIV health disparities in Latino populations.
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