Nav: Home

New behavioral intervention targets Latino men at high risk of HIV infection

April 20, 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - April 20, 2017 - Men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for two thirds of all new HIV infections in the United States, with 26 percent occurring in Latinos, according to 2014 data. If those rates continue, it is estimated that one in four Latino MSM may be diagnosed with HIV during his lifetime.

In an effort to reduce those infection rates, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed, implemented and evaluated a behavioral intervention program called HOLA en Grupos.

"We found that we can prevent HIV infection among a very hard-to-reach and growing population in the South," said the study's principal investigator Scott D. Rhodes, Ph.D., chair of social sciences and health policy and director of the Program in Community Engagement at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist.

"This is one of the first interventions specifically developed for Latino men and we had a 100 percent retention rate, which is unheard of in biomedical, behavioral and translational research."

The findings are published in the April 20 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

In the study, the researchers evaluated the Spanish language, small-group behavioral HIV prevention program designed to increase condom use and HIV testing - two methods proven to reduce infection - among Latinos who have sex with men.

From 2012 to 2015, 304 Latino MSM ages 18 to 55 were recruited in North Carolina and randomized to the four-session HOLA en Grupos intervention or to a general health education intervention. Participants completed structured assessments at baseline and at six-month follow-up.

At follow-up, the HOLA participants reported that consistent condom use during sex had increased from 33 percent to 65 percent, as compared to the control group that reported little change. The HOLA group also reported an increase in HIV testing from 32 percent to 80 percent as compared to the control group, which reported no significant change.

HOLA participants also reported increased knowledge of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, condom use skill, sexual communication skills and decreased fatalism, according to the study.

"This has significant public health ramifications because we've learned how to reach people at high risk and reduce infection rates," Rhodes said. "We've developed a guide on how to implement the program so it should be easy to replicate in other states."
-end-
Funding for the study was provided by the CDC.

Co-authors are: Jorge Alonzo, J.D., Lilli Mann, M.P.H., Eunyoung Song, Ph.D., Jorge Elias Arellano, Manuel Garcia, Rodrigo Rodriguez-Celedon and Beth A. Reboussin, Ph.D., of Wake Forest Baptist; Amanda E. Tanner, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and Arin Freeman, M.P.H., and Tom Painter, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Related Hiv Articles:

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.
The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.
Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.
NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
First ever living donor HIV-to-HIV kidney transplant
For the first time, a person living with HIV has donated a kidney to a transplant recipient also living with HIV.
The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.
Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.
HIV RNA expression inhibitors may restore immune function in HIV-infected individuals
Immune activation and inflammation persist in the majority of treated HIV-infected individuals and is associated with excess risk of mortality and morbidity.
HIV vaccine elicits antibodies in animals that neutralize dozens of HIV strains
An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world.
State-of-the-art HIV drug could curb HIV transmission, improve survival in India
An HIV treatment regimen already widely used in North America and Europe would likely increase the life expectancy of people living with HIV in India by nearly three years and reduce the number of new HIV infections by 23 percent with minimal impact on the country's HIV/AIDS budget.
More Hiv News and Hiv Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab