Several articles in the July/August issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (2004;36(4)) identify gaps in cultural sensitivity and prevention programming and services for US Hispanics.
- Authors who interviewed pregnancy prevention practitioners found few programs were specifically designed for Hispanic youth, despite their higher pregnancy risk. Those interviewed stressed the challenge of balancing the values guiding teen pregnancy prevention programs -- including self-sufficiency and individual achievement -- with Hispanic cultural traditions that emphasize the family and parenthood roles. The authors recommended practitioners should be able to speak Spanish and understand youth culture, gender roles, and family relationships in these communities.
- While Hispanic and white adolescents are almost equally likely to use family planning services, Hispanics are far more likely to have already been pregnant before utilizing the services, researchers found. Hispanic adolescents need to hear a clear message that contraceptive services are accessible and should be used before a woman becomes pregnant, the authors recommended.
- In another study, 146 Hispanic couples were randomized into two interventions, one a three-session risk-reduction program geared to address specific needs and characteristics of the Hispanic community, and the other a one-session pregnancy and STD prevention program. At three-month follow-up, both groups reported a reduction in unprotected sex and increase in effective contraception and condom use. The study concluded the similar outcomes suggest that bringing couples together for sexual and reproductive health might be sufficient for encouraging communication, shared decision-making, and behavior change.
- In a Durham, N.C., study, a quarter of 442 Hispanic migrants interviewed had used a sex worker's services during the previous year, researchers found. Of them, 93 percent reported always using a condom; but that proportion dropped significantly if the workers knew the sex worker well. The authors recommended targeting recent immigrants for information campaigns on condoms and the risks associated with commercial sex.
The above information was taken from "Practitioners' Perspectives on Effective Practices for Hispanic Teenage Pregnancy Prevention" (P.142-149), "A Comparison of Hispanic and White Adolescent Females' Use of Family Planning Services in California" (P.157-161), "A Randomized Study of a Pregnancy and Disease Prevention Intervention for Hispanic Couples" (P.162-169) and "Use of Commercial Sex Workers Among Hispanic Migrants in North Carolina: Implications for the Spread of HIV" (P.150-156).
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