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New HIV-reduction initiative takes to the fields
Date:11/5/2008

heir teammates about how men can ask for help and seek care when needed, rather than waiting until it gets more serious."

Funded by a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Rhodes and co-researchers have partnered with AIDS Care Service, in Winston-Salem, and Chatham Social Health Council, in Siler City, to provide health and disease prevention education in an effort to increase condom use and HIV testing in a peer-to-peer program. The intervention is based on social cognitive theory and the theory of empowerment education.

The intervention study, known as "HoMBReS: Hombres Manteniendo Bienestar y Relaciones Saludables" (MEN: Men Maintaining Wellness and Healthy Relationships), will be funded for five years and will include a total of 20 Latino soccer teams in North Carolina. Ten teams from Forsyth County and 10 teams from Chatham County will each recruit a peer leader, or trained lay health advisor, called a "Navegante."

Navegantes will be trained on how to avoid and prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The training will also include condom use skills, how to reframe the negative aspects and bolster the positive aspects of what it means to be a man and how to communicate effectively with teammates. The Navegante will then apply that training in interactions with his own teammates.

"We start where people are," Rhodes said. "In order to use a condom, for example, you have to know how to use a condom. Knowledge doesn't mean I will change my behavior, but if you want me to understand how to change, you have to teach me what I need to change and why. We also know that some immigrant Latinos rely on one another for support," Rhodes added. "We know that immigrants network to find places to live, for example, so we are utilizing these networks to develop a health promotion and disease prevention effort."

The teams will be randomized to two groups. To determine the effectiveness of the progra
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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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