Miami Universities To Study HIV/AIDS Among Hispanics

Armen Hareyan's picture

NIH's NationalCenter for Minority Health and Health Disparities recentlyawarded five-year grants totaling $13.5 million to two Miami-areauniversities to research Hispanic health issues -- includingHIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections and substance abuse-- the Miami Heraldreports.

FloridaInternational University plans to use its $6.5 million grant toexpand its Center for Research onU.S. Latinos, HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse, also known as CRUSADA.Some of the funding will be used to expand CRUSADA's "You GottaKnow, Hay Que Saber" program, which aims to increase knowledgeof HIV/AIDS among young people. FIU also plans to develop tactics forHispanic women to persuade their partners to use condoms.


TheUniversity of Miami will use its$7 million grant to expand its Center of Excellence for HispanicHealth Disparities Research, also known as El Centro. NildaPeragallo, dean of UM's School ofNursing and Health Studies, said the school will study HIV/AIDSrates among Hispanic women. The university also will research HIVprevention methods among Hispanics. The two schools also plan tocollaborate on several studies.

"There's a growingproblem of HIV/AIDS in Miami's Hispanic community, and amongHispanics nationwide," Mario De La Rosa, director of CRUSADA,said, adding, "The population in Miami is in many ways differentthan in the rest of the country. It hopefully will provide us withsome answers as to why Latinos abuse substances and why there's agrowing rate of AIDS."

According to CDC,the South Florida metropolitan area -- which includes Miami-Dade,Broward and Palm Beach counties -- had the highest rate of new AIDScases per 100,000 people in the U.S. from 2003 to 2005. Only New YorkCity and San Juan, Puerto Rico, had more new reported AIDS casesamong Hispanic women in 2004. Experts at UM and FIU said thatHIV/AIDS awareness programs aimed at other groups might not be aseffective among Hispanics because of cultural and language barriers(Corral, Miami Herald, 12/27/07).

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