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Public Health Rep. 1989 Sep-Oct;104(5):411-5.

AIDS prevention among Hispanics: needs, risk behaviors, and cultural values.

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Department of Psychology, University of San Francisco, CA 94117-1080.


Data from different sources show that Hispanics are over-represented in reported cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (twice their proportion of the population) and that their rate of infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is three times higher than among non-Hispanic whites. The behavior risk factors most frequently associated with infection in AIDS cases are IV drug use in the Northeast and high-risk sexual behavior in the West. HIV infection prevention strategies for Hispanics need to address high risk behaviors, taking into consideration associated culture-specific characteristics. Strategies need to address as well conditions such as racism and ethnic prejudices that keep many Hispanic homosexuals and bisexuals away from white or non-Hispanic gay organizations and publications, the lack of culturally appropriate drug treatment centers, the level of mis-information among Hispanics, and the possible high incidence among men of sexual intercourse with prostitutes. Prevention campaigns need to include such Hispanic cultural values as simpatia, familialism, personalismo, and power distance, if prevention campaigns are going to be perceived as relevant by Hispanics. Appropriate wording and communication channels need to be identified in order to transmit messages that will be perceived as credible and that will reach the largest possible audience.

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