Exploring the sexual health priorities and needs of immigrant Latinas in the southeastern United States: a community-based participatory research approach

Rebecca Cashman, Eugenia Eng, Florence Simán, Scott D Rhodes
AIDS Education and Prevention: Official Publication of the International Society for AIDS Education 2011, 23 (3): 236-48
Latinas living in the United States are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. However, few effective interventions currently exist that are designed to meet the priorities and needs of recently arrived and less acculturated immigrant Latinas who are settling in the southeastern United States. To identify sexual health priorities, gaps in information and skills, and key intervention characteristics to improve sexual health among immigrant Latinas, a community-based participatory research partnership conducted four focus groups with Latinas, in central North Carolina. Findings revealed a lack of knowledge about sexual health, shame and embarrassment related to clinical exams and conversations about sex, multilevel barriers to sexual health, and disease transmission misinformation. Findings also suggested that interventions should include information about a broad range of sexual and reproductive health topics and skill building. Such interventions could serve to assist in diminishing health disparities experienced among this vulnerable population.

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