November 24, 2009
Researchers from UCLA's Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research surveyed 600 Hispanics recruited from Los Angeles County sexually transmitted disease clinics, community-based organizations and needle-exchange programs. They found that those with low levels of acculturation -- meaning adaptation to American culture -- had fewer HIV tests and no hepatitis C tests, were more likely to test positive for HIV, and had low levels of access to health care.
Interventions must be developed that address the cultural and behavioral differences among Hispanics, who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. U.S Centers for Disease Control statistics from 2006 show that while Hispanics constitute approximately 14 percent of the nation's population, they account for 22 percent of new HIV and AIDS cases. The rate of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics continues to rise.
Janni J. Kinsler, Sung-Jae Lee, Jennifer N. Sayles, Allison Diamant and William Cunningham, all of UCLA, and Peter A. Newman, of the University of Toronto.
The National Institute of Mental Health, UCLA/Drew Project Export, and the UCLA Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elders/Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research.