HIV / AIDS and other STIs


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Why study HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

Racial and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic.  The majority of new AIDS diagnoses, new HIV infections, people living with HIV/AIDS, and AIDS deaths are among racial and ethnic minorities.  Additionally, men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be at high risk for HIV infection despite a decline in infection rates since the early years of the epidemic.  MSM accounted for an estimated 53% of new HIV infections in 2006 and are the only group for which new infections are on the rise (CDC, 2008; CDC, 2012; Hall et al., 2008). 

What are we doing at El Centro to help prevent HIV/AIDS and other STIs in racial, ethnic and sexual minority groups?

El Centro has been supporting studies that aim to have an impact on HIV/STI risk in diverse populations and cultures since it was first funded in 2007.  El Centro investigators are developing interventions to prevent and treat HIV/STIs, assuring that their approaches are tailored to the cultural values and needs of each group and then putting these interventions to the test in real-world community-based programs.  Dean Peragallo first developed and tested the SEPA (Salud/Health, Educacion/Education, Prevencion/Prevention and Autocuidado/Self-care) intervention for low-income, inner-city Latinas to respond to disparate rates of HIV infection in that population.  The SEPA intervention was shown to be effective in reducing HIV risk behavior and chlamydia rates.  The SEPA intervention package and training will be made available by the CDC through their Replicating Effective Programs Plus (REP) initiative to disseminate evidence-based HIV behavioral interventions.  To date, El Centro has supported 20 studies that aim to understand and reduce HIV/STI infection and risk behavior in diverse populations that include Latinos, African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans and sexual minorities.

El Centro Studies Related to HIV / AIDS and other STIs:

"SEPA II: Salud/Health, Educacion/Education, Prevencion/Prevention, Autocuidado/Self-care)”, Nilda Peragallo, DrPH, PI

"The Influence of Cultural Factors on High Risk Sexual Behaviors of Hispanic Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)”, Joseph De Santis, PhD, PI

"Sexual Decision Making among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)”, Joseph De Santis, PhD, PI

"Health Risks of Transgender Women”, Joseph De Santis, PhD, PI

"Young Adults’ Experiences of Living with Perinatally-Acquired HIV Infection”, Joseph De Santis, PhD, PI

"SEPA-O: Salud/Health, Educacion/Education, Prevencion/Prevention, Autocuidado/Self-care for Older Women, Rosa Cianelli, PhD, PI

"Developing and Piloting an Internet Based STI and HIV Prevention Intervention among Chilean Young Women”, Natalia Villegas, PhD, PI

"Testing an HIV/AIDS Prevention Intervention for Chilean Women”, Rosina Cianelli, PhD, PI

"SEPA III: Salud/Health, Educacion/Education, Prevencion/Prevention, Autocuidado/Self-care”, Nilda Peragallo, DrPH, PI

"Family Therapy Mechanisms in HIV+ Women in Drug Recovery”, Victoria Mitrani, PhD, PI

"Project VIDA: Violence, Intimate Relationships, and Drugs among Latinos,” Elias Vasquez, PhD, PI

"Attitudes about Circumcision”, Jose Castro, MD, Pl

"Hispacare: HIV+ Latino Adults: Acculturation, Adherence Patterns and Healthcare Utilization,” Maria Lopez, PhD, PI

"Disparities in HIV, STIs and Testing Among Victims of Intimate Partner Violence”, Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, PhD, PI

"Exploring Anal Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Behaviors among Diverse HIV-infected Men Who Have Sex with Men", Alexis Koskan, PhD, PI

"Exploring HIV Primary Care Providers’ Anal Cancer Screening and Treatment Behaviors and Facilitators and Barriers to Screening Promotion", Alexis Koskan, PhD, PI

"Sex, Sleep and Stress: The Relationship of Mental Health, Sleep quality, and High Risk Sexual Behavior among Hispanic MSM", Joseph De Santis, PhD, PI

"Trauma Informed Decision Making between Providers and Victims of Intimate Partner Violence During HIV testing: A Qualitative Study", Jessica Williams, PhD, PI

"Use of a Telenovela to Reduce HIV Risk Behaviors among Hispanic Women in south Florida", Natalia Villegas, PhD, PI

El Centro Publications Related to HIV / AIDS and other STIs:

Vasquez, E., Mejia, N.E., Gonzalez, R.M., Mitrani, V. (2006). Translating evidence-based HIV prevention programs into clinical practice for minority women. Hispanic Health Care International, 4 (3), 133-142.

Villegas, N., Cianelli, R., Ferrer, L., Kaelber L., Peragallo, N., & Yaya, A. (2012). Factores de riesgo para la adquisicion de VIH en mujeres Hispanas de 50 anos y mas residentes en el sure de la Florida[Risk factors for HIV acquisition among Hispanic women 50 years and older living in south Florida]. Horizonte de Enfermería, 23 (1), 51-61. ISSN 0716-8861.

Villegas, N., Cianelli, R., Gonzalez-Guarda, R., Kaelber, L., Ferrer, L., & Peragallo, N. (2012). Predictors of self-efficacy for HIV Prevention among Hispanic women in south Florida. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care PMCID: PMC3474856

Choudhury, S.M., Anglade, D., Park, K. (2013). From violence to sex work: Agency, escaping violence, and HIV risk among establishment-based female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 24(4), 368-382. doi:10.1016/j.jana.2013.03.002

De Santis, J.P., Garcia, A., Chaparro, A.I., Beltran, O. (2014). Integration vs. disintegration: A grounded theory study of adolescent and young adult development in the context of perinatally-acquired HIV infection. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 29(5), 422-435. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2014.01.001. PMCID: PMC4096608

De Santis, J.Pl, Patsdaughter, C.A. (2014). Editorial: The Dangerous Intersection of Violence and HIV Infection. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 25(1S), S1-S4. doi:10.1016/j.jana.2013.10.006

Gonzalez- Guarda, R. M. (2013) Pushing the syndemic research agenda forward: A comment on Pitpitan et al. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(2), 135-6. PMCID: PMC3820103

Villegas, N., Santisteban, D.A., Cianelli, R., Ferrer, L., Ambrosia, T., Peragallo, N., Lara, L., et al. (2014). The development, feasibility and acceptability of an internet based STI-HIV prevention intervention for young chilean women. International Nursing Review, 61(1), 55-63. PMCID: PMC4002211

Alvarez, R. A., Vasquez, E., Mayorga, C.C., Feaster, D. J., Mitrani, V. B. (2006) Increasing minority research participation through community organization-based outreach, Western Journal of Nursing Research, 28 (5), 541-60. PMCID: PMC2536763

Brincks, A. M., Feaster, D. J., Burns, M. J., & Mitrani, V. B. (2010). The influence of health locus of control on the patient-provider relationship. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 15(6), 720-728. PMCID: PMC4121258

Brincks, A. M., Feaster, D. J., & Mitrani, V. B. (2010). A multilevel mediation model of stress and coping for women with HIV and their families. Family Process, 49(4), 517-529. PMCID: PMC4026041

Burns, M.J., Feaster, D.J., Mitrani, V.B., Ow, C., Szapocznik, J. (2008).  Stress processes in HIV+ African American mothers: Moderating effects of drug abuse history. Anxiety, Stress and Coping: An International Journal. 21(1), 95-116. PMCID: PMC2474797.

Cabieses, B., Ferrer, L., Villarroel, L., Cianelli, R., Miner, S., & Bernales, M. (2011). Desigualdad en conocimientos y riesgo ocupacional de VIH en trabajadores de salud primaria en Chile [inequalities related to knowledge and occupational risk to acquire HIV among health workers in Chile]. Investigación y Educación En Enfermería, 29(2), 212-221.

Castro JG, Jones DL, Lopez MR and Weiss SM.(In Press) Male circumcision rates in STD patients in Southern Florida and acceptability of circumcision among Hispanics. Hispanic Health Care International,10(4), 199-205(7). PMCID: PMC4141694

Castro, J., Jones, D., Lopez, M., Barradas, I., Weiss, S. (2010). Making the case for circumcision as a public health strategy: Opening the dialogue. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 24(6), 367-372. doi: 10.1089/apc.2009.0353. PMCID: PMC2933565

Castro, J., Jones, D., Lopez M., Deeb K., Barradas I., Weiss, S. (2010). Acceptability of neonatal circumcision by Hispanics in southern Florida. International Journal of STD & AIDS. 21:591-594. doi:10.1258/ijsa.2010.010201. PMCID: PMC3725817

Cianelli, R., Villegas, N., Lawson, S., Ferrer, L., Kaelber, L., Peragallo, N., Yaya, A. (2013). Unique factors that place older Hispanic women at risk for HIV: Intimate partner violence, machismo and marianismo. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 24(4), 341-54. PMCID:PMC3870152

Cianelli, R., Ferrer, L., Norr, K. F., Miner, S., Irarrazabal, L., Bernales, M., et al. (2012). Mano a mano-mujer: An effective HIV prevention intervention for Chilean women. Health Care for Women International, 33(4), 321-341. PMCID: PMC3348920

Cianelli, R., Lara, L., Villegas, N., Bernales, M., Ferrer, L., Kaelber, L., et al. (2012). Impact of mano a mano-mujer, an HIV prevention intervention, on depressive symptoms among Chilean women. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, PMCID: PMC3401514

Cianelli, R., Ferrer, L., Norr, K., McCreary, L., Irarrazabal, L., Bernales, M., et al. (2011). Stigma related to HIV among community health workers in Chile. Stigma Research and Action, 1(1), 3-10. PMCID: PMC3115724

Cianelli, R. (2010). HIV: A health related disparity among older Hispanic women. Hispanic Health Care International, 8(2), 58-64. doi:10.1891/1540-4153.8.2.58

Cianelli, R., Villegas, N., Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., Kaelber, L., Peragallo, N. (2010). HIV susceptibility among Hispanic women in south Florida. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 27(4) 207-215. PMCID: PMC3092435

Conejeros, I., Sanchez, E., Ferrer, L., Cabieses, B., Cianelli, R. (2010). Conocimientos, actitudes y percepciones de enfermeros y estudiantes de enfermería hacia VIH/SIDA. Investigación y Educación en Enfermería, 28(3), 345-346.

De Santis, J., Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., Vasquez, E., DeLeon, D. (2014). Las ramas enredadas: Sexual risk, substance abuse, and intimate partner violence among Hispanic men who have sex with men. Journal of Transcultural Nursing., 25(1), 23-32 PMCID: PMC3867556

De Santis, J. P., DeLeon, D. A. (2013). Clients' perspectives of the relationship of vulnerability and resilience in the context of HIV infection. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 34, 300-308. PMCID: PMC3897227

De Santis, J. P., Florom-Smith, A., Vermeesch, A., Barroso, S., DeLeon, D.A. (2013). Motivation, management, and mastery: A theory of resilience in the context of HIV infection. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 19(1), 36-46. PMCID: PMC3773721

De Santis, J., Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., & Vasquez, E. P. (2012). Psychosocial and cultural correlates of depression among Hispanic men with HIV infection: A pilot study. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. PMCID: PMC3345319

De Santis, J.P., Provencio-Vasquez, E., DeLeon, D.A., & Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M. (2012). Relationships as risk for HIV infection: High risk sex, substance abuse, and violence among Hispanic men who have sex with men. Horizonte de Enfermeria, 23 (1), 27-39.

De Santis, J.P., Provencio-Vasquez, D., McCabe, B., Rodriguez, R.A. (2012). Predictors of HIV knowledge among Hispanic men. Hispanic Health Care International, 10(1), 7-17.

De Santis, J., & Barroso, S. (2011). Living in silence: A grounded theory study of vulnerability in the context of HIV infection. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 32(6), 345-354. doi:10.3109/01612840.2010.550018

De Santis, J., & Vasquez, E. P. (2011). A pilot study to evaluate ethnic/racial differences in depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and sexual behaviors among men who have sex with men. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 23(2), 147-164. doi: 10.1080/10538720.2011.557853

De Santis, J.P. (2010). Editorial: Factors influencing HIV risk among Hispanic men who have sex with men. Hispanic Health Care International, 8(3), 122-124. doi: 10.1891/1540-4153.8.3.122.

De Santis, J., Martin, C. W., & Lester, A. (2010). An educational program on HIV prevention for male-to-female transgender women in South Miami Beach, Florida. JANAC: Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 21(3), 265-271.

De Santis, J., & Vasquez, E. P. (2010). An appraisal of the factors influencing human sexuality research in nursing. Nursing Forum, 45(3), 174-184.

De Santis, J.P. (2009). HIV infection risk factors among male-to-female transgender persons: A review of the literature. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 20(5), 362-372.

De Santis, J.P., Vasquez, E.P., Weidel, J.J., Watson, S., & Sanchez, M. (2009). A comparison of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and sexual behaviors between foreign-born and US-born Hispanic men who have sex with men: Implications for HIV prevention. Hispanic Health Care International, 7(2), 80-87. doi:10.1891/1540-4153.7.2.80.

Feaster, D. J., Brincks, A. M., Mitrani, V. B., Prado, G., Schwartz, S. J., & Szapocznik, J. (2010). The efficacy of structural ecosystems therapy for HIV medication adherence with African American women. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(1), 51-59. PMCID: PMC2836493

Feaster, D. J., Burns, M. J., Brincks, A. M., Prado, G., Mitrani, V. B., Mauer, M. H., et al. (2010). Structural ecosystems therapy for HIV+ African-American women and drug abuse relapse. Family Process, 49(2), 204-219. PMCID: PMC4048062

Feaster, D. J., Mitrani, V. B., Burns, M. J., McCabe, B. E., Brincks, A. M., Rodriguez, A. E., et al. (2010). A randomized controlled trial of structural ecosystems therapy for HIV medication adherence and substance abuse relapse prevention. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 111(3), 227-234. PMCID: PMC2950218

Ferrer, L., Cabieses, B., Norr, K., Cianelli, R., Araya, A., Irarrazabal, L., et al. (2011). Eficacia de una intervención educativa sobre conocimientos de ley Chilena de SIDA en trabajadores de salud primaria (Effectiveness of an educational program about the Chilean AIDS law in primary care health workers) Revista Médica De Chile, 139, 625-632. PMCID: PMC4151473

Florom-Smith, A. L., De Santis, J. P. (2012). Exploring the concept of HIV-related stigma. Nursing Forum, 47(3), 153-165. PMCID: PMC3753798

Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., McCabe, B. E., Florom-Smith, A., Cianelli, R., & Peragallo, N. (2011). Substance abuse, violence, HIV, and depression: An underlying syndemic factor among Latinas. Nursing Research, 60(3), 182-189. PMCID: PMC3171180

Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., Florom-Smith, A., & Thomas, T. (2011). A syndemic model of substance abuse, intimate partner violence, HIV infection, and mental health among Hispanics. Public Health Nursing, 28(4), 366-378. PMCID: PMC3137267

Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., Vasquez, E. P., Urrutia, M., Villarruel, A. M., & Peragallo, N. (2011). Hispanic women’s experiences with substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and risk for HIV. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 22(1), 46-54. PMCID: PMC3070462

Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., Ortega, J., Vasquez, E. P., & De Santis, J. (2010). La mancha negra: Substance abuse, violence, and sexual risks among Hispanic males. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 32(1), 128-148. PMCID: PMC3070461

Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M. (2009). The Syndemic Orientation: Implications for eliminating Hispanic health disparities. Hispanic Health Care International, 7(3), 114-115.

Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., Peragallo, N., Urrutia, M.T., Vasquez, E.P. & Mitrani, V.B. (2008). HIV risk, substance abuse, and intimate partner violence among Hispanic women and their intimate partners. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. 19 (4), 252-266. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2008.04.001

Jackson-Gilfort, A., Mitrani, V.B., & Szapocznik, J. (2000) Conjoint couple’s therapy in preventing violence in low income African American couples: A case report. Journal of Family Psychotherapy. 11 (4), 37-60.

Maturo, D., Powell, A., Major-Wilson, H., Sanchez, K., De Santis, J., & Friedman, L. B. (2011). Development of a protocol for transitioning adolescents with HIV infection to adult care. Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, 25(1), 16-23.

Miner, S., Ferrer, L., Cianelli, R., Bernales, M., & Cabieses, B. (2011). Intimate partner violence and HIV risk behaviors among socially disadvantaged Chilean women. Violence Against Women, 17(4), 517-531. PMCID: PMC3772780

Mitrani, V. B., McCabe, B. E., Gonzalez-Guarda, R., Florom-Smith, A., Peragallo, N. (2013). Participation in SEPA, a sexual and relational health intervention for Hispanic women. Western Journal of Nursing, 35 (7), 849-866. PMCID: PMC3870584

Mitrani, V. B., McCabe, B. E., Burns, M. J., & Feaster, D. J. (2012). Family mechanisms of structural ecosystems therapy for HIV-seropositive women in drug recovery. Health Psychology, 31(5), 591-600. PMCID: PMC3884197

Mitrani, V. B., Feaster, D. J., Weiss-Laxer, N. S., & McCabe, B. E. (2011). Malaise, motivation and motherhood: Predictors of engagement in behavioral interventions from a randomized controlled trial for HIV+ women in drug abuse recovery. AIDS & Behavior, 15(2), 396-406.PMCID: PMC305134

Mitrani, V. B., McCabe, B. E., Robinson, C., Weiss-Laxer, N. S., & Feaster, D. J. (2010). Structural ecosystems therapy for recovering HIV-positive women: Child, mother, and parenting outcomes. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(6), 746-755. PMCID: PMC3051342

Mitrani, V.B., Robinson, C., & Szapocznik, J. (2009). Structural ecosystems therapy (SET) for women with HIV/AIDS. In M. Stanton and J. Bray, Handbook of Family Psychology. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell Publishing, 355-369.

Mitrani, V.B., Weiss-Laxer, N.S., Feaster, D.J. (2009). Factors related to loss of child custody in HIV+ women in drug abuse recovery. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 35(5), 320-324. PMCID: PMC2838176

Mitrani, V.B., Weiss-Laxer, N.S., Ow, C.E., Burns, M.J., Ross, S. & Feaster, D.J. (2009). Examining family networks of HIV+ women in drug recovery: Challenges and opportunities. Families, Systems, and Health, 27(3) 267-283 PMCID: PMC2845531

Mitrani, V.B., Prado, G., Feaster, D.J., Robinson-Batista, C. & Szapocznik, J. (2003) Relational factors and family treatment engagement among low-income, HIV+ African American mothers. Family Process, 42, 31-45. PMCID: PMC1480626.

Szapocznik, J., Feaster, D., Mitrani, V.B., Prado, G., Smith, W., Robinson-Batista, C., Schwartz, S.J., Mauer, M.H. & Robbins, M.S., (2004) Structural ecosystems therapy for HIV-seropositive African-American women: Effects on psychological distress, family hassles, and family support. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72 (2), 288-303. PMCID: PMC1480817.

Nelson, R.H., Mitrani, V.B., & Szapocznik, J. (2000) Applying a family-ecosystemic model to reunite a family separated due to child abuse: A case study. Journal of Contemporary Family Therapy. 22 (2), 125-146.

Norr, K., Ferrer, L., Cianelli, R., Crittenden, K.,S., Irarrazabal, L., Cabieses, B., et al. (2012). Peer group intervention for HIV prevention among health workers in Chile. JANAC: Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 23(1), 73-86. PMCID: PMC3140569

Peragallo, N., Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., McCabe, B. & Cianelli, R. (2012). The efficacy of an HIV risk reduction intervention for Hispanic women. AIDS and Behavior, 15(5), 1316-13126. PMCID: PMC3528343

Prado, G., Szapocznik, J., Mitrani, V.B., Mauer, M.H., Smith, L. & Feaster, D.J. (2002) Factors influencing engagement into interventions for adaptation to HIV in African American women. AIDS and Behavior, 6 (2), 141-151. PMCID: PMC1464091

Triviño, X., Ferrer L., Bernales, M., Cianelli R., Moore, P., Peragallo, N. (2013). Effect of emotionally-complex roles on HIV-related simulated patients. Hispanic Health Care International, 11(2), 72-77. doi: 10.1891/1540-4153.11.2.72

Mata, H., Provencio-Vasquez, E., Martinez, J., & DeSantis, J. (2014). HIV risk knowledge among Hispanic adults in a U.S. – Mexico border community: Opportunities for sexual health promotion and education. California Journal of Health Promotion, 12(1), 88-94.

De Santis, J. P. (2012). How do the sexual behaviors of foreign-born Hispanic men who have sex with men differ by relationship status? American Journal of Men's Health, 6(1), 6-17. doi: 10.1177/1557988311403299

De Santis, J., Arcia, A., Vermeesch, A., & Gattamorta, K. A. (2011). Using structural equation modeling to identify predictors of sexual behaviors among Hispanic men who have sex with men. The Nursing Clinics of North America, 46(2), 233-48. PMCID: PMC3854931.

Irarrazabal, L.P., Ferrer, L., Cianelli, R., Lara, L., Reed, R., Levy, J., Perez, C. (2013). Oral rapid test: An alternative to traditional HIV screening in Chile. Revista Panamericana De Salud Publica, 33(6), 427-432.

Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., McCabe, Brian, Vermeesch, Cianelli, R., Peragallo-Montano, N., Florom-Smith, A. L. (2013). Cultural phenomena and the syndemic factor: Substance abuse, violence, HIV and depression among Hispanic women. Annals of Anthropological Practice, 36(2), 212-231. PMCID: PMC3932986.

Valdés, B., Cabieses, Lagunas, L., Ferrer, Villarroel, L., Antonio, Acosta, R., Cianelli, Miner, S., & Silva, M., Bernales. (2011). HIV/AIDS knowledge and occupational risk in primary care health workers from Chile [spanish]. Investigación & Educación En Enfermería, 29(2), 212-221.

Villegas, N., Ferrer, L., Cianelli, R., Miner, S., Lara, L., & Peragallo, N. (2011). Conocimientos y autoeficacia asociados a VIH y SIDA en mujeres Chilenas [knowledge and self-efficacy associated to HIV and AIDS among Chilean women]. Investigación y Educación En Enfermería, 29(2), 222-229.

Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., Williams, J. Merisier, M., Cummings, A., Prado, G. (2014). Acculturation, risk behaviors and physical dating violence victimization among cuban-american adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2014.03.001

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