[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This qualitative analysis elucidates the potential elements of the intervention that may be effective in terms of a) increasing knowledge about HIV/ AIDS in the members of this population; b) increasing the use of male condoms and the practice of mutual masturbation; and c) changing opinions toward male condom use and mutual masturbation.
Five heterosexual HIV-discordant couples participated in the adapted intervention, which consisted of four three-hour-long sessions. One month after the intervention, we conducted a qualitative semi-structured interview with every participant to evaluate issues related to the process and content of the activities comprising the intervention, the impact of the intervention, logistics, and recruitment and retention as well as to make a more general evaluation. The information was submitted to qualitative content analysis.
After the intervention, participants reported having better attitudes regarding safer sex, particularly in terms of condom use. A reason given by the participants to feel more positive toward condom use and mutual masturbation was that these practices could prevent the infection of the HIV-negative partner.
This study provides important evidence of an intervention that promises to be efficacious in preventing some high-risk sexual behaviors among Latino HIV-discordant heterosexual couples. The evidence presented seems to suggest that an intervention that includes basic relevant information about HIV/AIDS, that explains the benefits of condom use and other safer sex options, and that provides effective negotiation and communication strategies could significantly reduce HIV transmission among these couples.
Puerto Rico health sciences journal 12/2011; 30(4):188-94. · 0.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most of the HIV/AIDS prevention efforts have not taken into consideration the context of the relationship and the gender constructs that influence relationship dynamics. These efforts have failed to view HIV prevention as a collaborative process between partners. Therefore, it is important to explore how relationship dynamics and gender constructs influence how men and women involved in an HIV discordant heterosexual relationship, visualize their role in the protection of their partners in order to design more effective prevention interventions.
Five Puerto Rican HIV discordant heterosexual couples were interviewed via a qualitative semi-structured interview. The taped interviews were transcribed and analyzed using content analysis according to a set of defined categories.
Women visualized their role as one of convincing their partners to use protection as well as being strong and firm in the demand of its use. Men viewed their role as one of being more supportive and willing to use protection, but recognized their resistance towards the use of condoms. Relationship dynamics such as communication and support promoted protection.
Traditional and non-traditional gender roles were assumed by both men and women. Traditional gender roles inhibited protection but were also used in positive ways to promote it. Men showed a greater initiative to break with traditional gender norms. A positive relationship, marked by communication and support could serve as a facilitator in the protection and in the transformation of traditional gender norms. This points out to the need of viewing HIV/AIDS prevention as a collaborative rather than individualistic process.
Puerto Rico health sciences journal 04/2009; 28(1):30-9. · 0.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although HIV prevention interventions for women are efficacious, long-term behavior change maintenance within power-imbalanced heterosexual relationships has been difficult. To explore the feasibility, content, and format of an HIV intervention for Latino couples, the authors conducted 13 focus groups with HIV/AIDS researchers, service providers, and heterosexual men and women in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Reasons that participants thought that men should be involved in prevention efforts included promotion of shared responsibility, creation of a safe environment for open conversation about sex, and increased sexual negotiation skills. Perceived barriers to men's involvement included cultural taboos, sexual conservatism associated with Catholicism and machismo, and power-imbalanced relationships. Participants stressed the need for recruitment of men within naturally occurring settings or by influential community leaders. Participants indicated that couples-level interventions would be successful if they used strong coed facilitators, included both unigender and mixed-gender discussion opportunities, and addressed personally meaningful topics. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 02/2009; 15(1):11-7. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model examines factors that are used to initiate and maintain sexual and reproductive health promotion behaviors. The present study evaluated the association among these constructs as it is applied to sexually active heterosexual adults with steady partners, using a Structural Equation Modeling approach. At the same time, it was analyzed if the same model structure could be generalized to two samples of participants that produced the results following two different formats for data collection. Two-hundred ninety one participants completed the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Questionnaire (Spanish version), and 756 participants completed an Internet version on the instrument. The proposed model fits the data for both groups, supporting a predictive and positive relationship among all of the latent variables, with Information predicting Motivation, and Motivation therefore predicting Behavioral Skills. The findings support the notion that there are important issues that need to be addressed when promoting HIV prevention.
Revista Interamericana de psicologia/Interamerican Journal of Psychology 01/2009; 43(2):333-339.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self-efficacy has been defined as one of the factors that may facilitate or impede safer sex. Studies reveal that peoples in steady relationships practice safer sex less often that those in casual relationships. We conducted a study with 447 sexually active heterosexual adults. A self-administered questionnaire was designed to study the sexual behavior, the male condom use and the practice of mutual masturbation, and the self-efficacy toward these practices. Results show that most men are sexually active and that there is a low frequency of male condom use and the practice of mutual masturbation as safer sex. The majority of those who use the male condom are engage in casual relationships. However, participants have high levels of self-efficacy toward these practices. Although self-efficacy is one of the factors that influence in deciding to practice safer sex, it is not sufficient to reach this goal.
Revista Interamericana de psicologia/Interamerican Journal of Psychology 01/2009; 43(2):414-424.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Explore the role male partners should play in interventions that emerge from an empowerment perspective for the prevention of HIV/AIDS in women. Explore the social and cultural context, rationale and format for interventions if male partners are incorporated.
Heterosexual women have become the most at risk group for HIV infection. Most of the HIV/AIDS prevention efforts have excluded the participation of male partners. Interventions with women have not been as affective as desired since the negotiation of safer sex method, such as the male condom, is not under their control.
Thirteen focus groups were conducted in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Groups were conducted with HIV/AIDS prevention researchers, service providers, and heterosexual men and women who participated in HIV/AIDS prevention interventions. The taped conversations were transcribed and analyzed using content analysis according to a set of defined categories and subcategories.
The majority of participants agreed that men must be incorporated in HIV prevention efforts with women. Many conditioned this participation, while some expressed their opposition. Regarding the ways of participation many favored working with men and women separately at the beginning and integrating at the end. They recommended considering working at a group level.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has put in the forefront the need to consider non-traditional approaches to promote behavior change. A group-base intervention with couples may be an effective way to prevent the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Puerto Rico health sciences journal 04/2007; 26(1):13-22. · 0.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this analysis is twofold: to examine the types of health and support services provided by CARE Act funded providers to American Indians/Alaska Natives and to compare the characteristics and service utilization patterns for this group with those of individuals from other racial/ethnic groups. We present an analysis of the demographic characteristics, service utilization, and health outcomes of all HIV-infected clients who received services in five geographic areas at agencies that were funded through the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. Standard chi-square tests were used to test for statistically significant differences (p <.05) between the demographic characteristics and service utilization patterns of matched pairs of HIV-positive American Indian/Native Alaskans with HIV-positive individuals of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Individuals were matched on gender, age, insurance, AIDS diagnosis, and site. Other data examined include client characteristics (income, homelessness, HIV exposure category, and source of health care), health indicators (CDC-defined disease stage, CD4+ counts, substance abuse and psychiatric illness) and service utilization (medical care; mental health treatment/counseling; substance abuse treatment/counseling; case management; dental care; housing, food, emergency financial, and transportation assistance, and buddy/companion and client advocacy services). There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for HIV exposure category, CD4 count, substance abuse problem, and being homeless and in their likelihood to receive medical care, mental health or substance abuse treatment/counseling, dental care, food, emergency financial, and transportation assistance, as well as buddy/companion and client advocacy services. They were more likely (55% vs. 46%) to receive case management services than the matched individuals from other racial/ethnic groups. They were also more likely to receive housing assistance (35% vs. 25%). The analysis provides evidence that when individuals are matched on key demographic and health characteristics, few differences remain between HIV-positive American Indians/Native Alaskans and other racial/ethnic groups. The two exceptions are case management and housing assistance. The significantly higher use of case management is not surprising, given the emphasis by American Indians/Alaska Natives on traditional Native American case management case management. In contrast, the significantly higher use of housing assistance by American Indians/Alaska Natives was unexpected. Exploring the potential need for housing assistance among all American Indians/Alaska Natives served by the Ryan White CARE Act needs to be considered.
AIDS Education and Prevention 06/2004; 16(3):238-49. · 1.59 Impact Factor