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California State University, Long Beach

Rompe el Silencio: Break the Silence Project

This project was conducted in collaboration with the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training. Dr. Malotte served as co-principal investigator, and Carol Canjura from our staff served as project coordinator. The goal of the project, named Rompe el Silencio (Break the Silence), was to reduce the risk of HIV infection among U.S. Latinas by creating and strengthening a HIV/AIDS prevention intervention targeting Latinas and their families. The Rompe el Silencio project pilot-tested a culturally based intervention for Latinas that was designed to increase knowledge and communication on sexual health within the family and across generations. A number of focus groups were conducted, targeting diverse age-ranges of Latinas, to ascertain the factors in their lives that act as barriers to accessing messages, and prevention/education services, to understand the context of risk for Latinas and determine the types of messages effective in reaching Latinas. Findings from the focus groups were used to develop and modify a small group intervention that was pilot tested with a cross-generational sample of Latinas. The initial intervention was pilot tested with a small intergenerational group of 10-15 Latinas. A second phase of pilot testing with 50 Latina mother and daughter dyads was conducted with modifications from the first pilot test. Pilot test findings indicate this intervention shows promise in increasing communication about sexual health between Latina mothers and daughters.