NINR Study Points to Success of Program Aimed at Reducing Risky Sexual Behavior Among Hispanic Youth
A study funded by the NINR shows that Hispanic teens who took part in a culturally-tailored HIV risk reduction program were less-likely to engage in risky sexual practices that can lead to HIV infection compared to their counterparts who took part in a general health promotion program.
Thornton: HIV infection in the Hispanic community remains a serious problem, even more so among adolescents. According to the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health, HIV and AIDS have a disproportionate affect on Hispanic adolescents — with the incidence of AIDS for Hispanic youth and adults triple that of their non-Hispanic white counterparts. One reason for this may be highlighted in a national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System which found that Hispanic youths are having more sex before the age of 13 and with multiple sex partners at a higher rate than black or white adolescents. But there are ways to combat this trend. A study funded by the NINR shows that Hispanic teens who took part in a culturally-tailored HIV risk reduction program were less-likely to engage in risky sexual practices that can lead to HIV infection compared to their counterparts who took part in a general health promotion program. The program is called "Cuidate!" which means "Take Care of Yourself!". NINR Director Dr. Patricia A. Grady talked about the program's success.
Grady: The program was found to be successful in increasing awareness of sexual practices and increasing the safety of sexual practices in teenagers. In fact, it was found in the study group that they had a decrease in sexual activity, sexual intercourse, a decrease in multiple partners and an increase in safe sex practices when they did engage in intercourse. So the long term outcome one expects with an intervention such as this is it will prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Thornton: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2001 that HIV infection was the fourth leading cause of death in Hispanics aged 25 to 44. The results of this study suggest that there is a benefit to providing education on both abstinence and safe sex practices. The results can be found in the August issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Matt Thornton in Bethesda Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Matt Thornton
Sound Bite: Dr. Patricia A. Grady