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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 Jun 1;63 Suppl 1:S32-5. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182920015.

Using community-based participatory research to prevent HIV disparities: assumptions and opportunities identified by the Latino partnership.

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Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157-1063, USA.



HIV disproportionately affects vulnerable populations in the United States, including recently arrived immigrant Latinos. However, the current arsenal of effective approaches to increase adherence to risk-reduction strategies and treatment within Latino populations remains insufficient.


Our community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership blends multiple perspectives of community members, organizational representatives, local business leaders, and academic researchers to explore and intervene on HIV risk within Latino populations. We used CBPR to develop, implement, and evaluate 2 interventions that were found to be efficacious.


We identified 7 assumptions of CBPR as an approach to research, including more authentic study designs, stronger measurement, and improved quality of knowledge gained; increased community capacity to tackle other health disparities; the need to focus on community priorities; increased participation and retention rates; more successful interventions; reduced generalizability; and increased sustainability.


Despite the advancement of CBPR as an approach to research, key assumptions remain. Further research is needed to compare CBPR with other more-traditional approaches to research. Such research would move us from assuming the value of CBPR to identifying its actual value in health disparity reduction. After all, communities carrying a disproportionate burden of HIV, including immigrant Latino communities, deserve the best science possible.

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