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Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2009 Jan;15(1):11-7. doi: 10.1037/a0013872.

Barriers and facilitators of HIV prevention with heterosexual Latino couples: beliefs of four stakeholder groups.

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Institute of Psychological Research, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR 00931-3174.


Although HIV prevention interventions for women are efficacious, long-term behavior change maintenance within power-imbalanced heterosexual relationships has been difficult. To explore the feasibility, content, and format of an HIV intervention for Latino couples, the authors conducted 13 focus groups with HIV/AIDS researchers, service providers, and heterosexual men and women in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Reasons that participants thought that men should be involved in prevention efforts included promotion of shared responsibility, creation of a safe environment for open conversation about sex, and increased sexual negotiation skills. Perceived barriers to men's involvement included cultural taboos, sexual conservatism associated with Catholicism and machismo, and power-imbalanced relationships. Participants stressed the need for recruitment of men within naturally occurring settings or by influential community leaders. Participants indicated that couples-level interventions would be successful if they used strong coed facilitators, included both unigender and mixed-gender discussion opportunities, and addressed personally meaningful topics. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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