Many Latina seasonal workers reside and work in Miami-Dade County, a location that is known to have the highest HIV incidence in the U.S. While this rate is four times the national average, there are no prevention interventions that aim to decrease HIV among Latina seasonal workers.
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health compared the outcomes of two interventions – VOICES and HEALTHY – which were adapted to include a respondent-driven social network component. Each participant was asked to recruit three friends, and those friends were asked to recruit three more friends. There was a total of 20 groups of 13 friends.
Researchers collected data at baseline, as well as during the six and 12 months after the interventions were completed. A total of 261 Latina seasonal workers participated in either of the two interventions. There were significant changes in cognitive factors, behavioral factors, and cognitive factors. This study supports the literature that suggests that interventions that incorporate social networks can have positive effects on HIV prevention and treatment outcomes, including sustained benefits beyond study periods.
Co-authors of the paper include Dr. Mariano Kanamori, Dr. Guillermo Prado, and Ms. Cho-Hee Shrader from the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, Dr. Mario De La Rosa and Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, both from Florida International University, Dr. Cesar Munayco from Centro Nacional de Epidemiologia, Prevencion y Control de Enfermedades, Dr. Susane Doblecki-Lewis from the Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Steven Safren from the University of Miami, and Dr. Kayo Fujimoto from the University of Texas’ Health Science Center at Houston.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on January 03