MHP Salud’s project, Health Outcome – Healthy Living Initiative will improve HIV and substance misuse prevention efforts for Hispanic/Latino youth ages 13-24 in Orange County, Florida. The project will be led by a Community Health Worker/Promotor(a) de Salud, who will conduct outreach and deliver evidence-based education. Staff will also deliver trainings to substance misuse providers and develop a media campaign tailored to reach youth in the region.
MHP Salud is applying for $997,493.73 over the 5-year project period. Proposed activities delivered in collaboration with local community partners will support the project goal, which is to provide culturally and linguistically tailored prevention education and navigation services to Hispanic/Latino youth ages 13-24 living in Orange County. In Orange County, nearly 1 in 3 youth are Hispanic/Latino. HIV and substance misuse are especially prevalent in the area. Between 2009-2017, there was a 33% increase in HIV among youth 13-24. Roughly 23% of high school students currently drink alcohol; 6% have used cocaine; and 4% have injected illegal drugs. And when examining demographics of youth, Hispanic/Latinos have the highest rate of use compared to other groups.3-5 The Promotor(a) will conduct outreach, providing information and disseminating tailored resources. Outreach efforts, which will be supported by community leaders, will reach approximately 7,800 community residents. Classes will follow the Cuídate curriculum, a tailored HIV prevention program. An estimated 540 (Y1:90; Y2:120; Y3:120; Y4:120; Y5:90) youth will participate. Participants will demonstrate the following statistically significant outcomes: increase in positive attitudes regarding HIV risk-reduction behaviors; improvements in beliefs regarding HIV risk-reduction behaviors; increase in self-efficacy regarding HIV risk-reduction behaviors; increase in knowledge regarding HIV risk-reduction behaviors; and an increase in the proportion of participants tested for HIV.
To address existing stigma surrounding substance misuse and HIV, the agency’s marketing division will develop a positive and empowering awareness campaign to improve knowledge and awareness of HIV and substance misuse among local Hispanic/Latino youth. To strengthen existing networks of care, MHP Salud staff will additionally deliver nine trainings to providers on the importance of HIV testing and clinical care. Participants will demonstrate a statistically significant increase in knowledge of HIV testing; an increase in knowledge of HIV clinical care; and an increase in intention to collaborate with HIV providers.