Research to practice: state-level strategies to assist health departments in addressing the HIV epidemic among young black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM)

Published: July 22, 2010

Research to practice: state-level strategies to assist health departments in addressing the HIV epidemic among young black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM)

G. Jenkins, F. Ruiz

National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors, Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities, Washington, United States

Issues: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 13 – 29 years represent approximately 69 percent of new HIV infections. These populations are disproportionately burdened by HIV and other STIs and increasingly have the greatest risk of negative sexual health outcomes in the U.S.
Description: In response to rising HIV incidence rates among young black and Latino MSM, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) – a national nonprofit association of state health department HIV/AIDS program directors – launched an issue brief series exploring the challenges faced by health departments in addressing this crisis. These documents were designed to explore the complexity of needs, challenges and social conditions that heighten risk of HIV infection. The issue briefs offer health departments and their community partners a range of guiding principles, effective strategies and best practices for engaging youth.
Lessons learned: Moving from research to practice, NASTAD surveyed members to assess the relevance of issue briefs to current, state-level prevention programming efforts. Their responses have been categorized into structural and behavioral interventions. Profiles of state programs were developed to aid other state health departments, and offer examples of successfully implemented strategies addressing the HIV epidemic among young black and Latino MSM. In addition, the issue brief series discusses how youth development principles can be integrated into an overall public health strategy that empowers youth to play an active role in determining what health department activities might be most effective in improving sexual health outcomes for young people.
Next steps: NASTAD will provide peer-based technical assistance on effective HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs targeting young black and Latino MSM. NASTAD will identify and link peer HIV/AIDS programs to help other jurisdictions adapt, implement and evaluate their own programs.
 

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