White House Cites School of Nursing and Health Studies’ El Centro Article

October 15, 2013 — An article published by investigators at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro has been cited in a special report released by the White House and endorsed by President Barack Obama. The document makes reference to an article entitled “Predictors of Self-Efficacy for HIV prevention among Hispanic Women in South Florida,” published in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (JANAC) by Dr. Natalia Villegas and her colleagues on the school’s El Centro research team.

Villegas, et. al was the only nursing article cited in the report, and JANAC was the only nursing journal in the references. The article is based on the “SEPA II” study conducted at El Centro that investigated whether factors such as age, living with a partner, employment status, HIV knowledge, self-esteem and intimate partner violence (IPV) predicted self-efficacy for HIV prevention in 548 Hispanic women living in South Miami who participated in a randomized controlled trial. What was found, and later cited in the report released by the White House, was that women who experience IPV are less likely than other women to display high levels of self-efficacy for HIV prevention (click here for full citation and abstract).

The cited study forms part of the larger research portfolio of El Centro, originally established at the School of Nursing and Health Studies in 2007 and continuously funded since then by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The mission of El Centro is to advance the science of reducing health disparities in vulnerable populations through research, education and collaboration with community and academic partners.

“Inclusion of our findings in such an important and timely White House document is not only a great recognition, but also indicates that the science being conducted at El Centro is having an impact. We are proud to be a part of the coordinated response to the complex issues that affect the well-being of disparity groups across the U.S.,” says Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano, Principal Investigator and Director of El Centro and Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The report titled Addressing the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, and Gender-Related Health Disparities, was written by an Interagency Federal Working Group, convened under a Presidential Memorandum to address the overlapping challenges of HIV/AIDS and violence against females across the U.S.

It was officially released on September 6, 2013 and presented at the United States Conference on HIV/AIDS in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 8th.

White House Report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/vaw-hiv_working_group_report_final_-_9-6--2013.pdf

Full Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22795758

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