Lessons from the Fields: A Migrant HIV Prevention Project

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SYNOPSISMigrant and seasonal workers are vulnerable to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to poverty, inadequate knowledge of preventive strategies, and lack of access to health care. This study addresses the disparate impact of HIV among Hispanic and African American migrant workers in Immokalee, Florida, who use alcohol and other drugs. Through pilot testing to adapt the experimental and comparison interventions to these two distinct populations, research staff have learned the importance of (1) establishing and maintaining trust between outreach staff and the migrant community; (2) being aware of cultural nuances and practices that might create challenges to the research process, and the interaction of these factors with poverty; and (3) having flexibility in recruitment and intervention. As one of the first intervention studies in this population to use an experimental design and to focus on the social and contextual factors that contribute to risky behaviors, these lessons may provide guidance for future researchers.

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