Qualitative needs assessment of HIV services among Dominican, Mexicon and Central American immigrant populations living in the New York City area

M. G. Shedlin, L. Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper reports on research designed to assess access to care by Latino immigrant populations in the New York area. A qualitative approach and methods were employed, involving focus groups with PLWAs (persons living with AIDS) and affected men and women from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Central America to explore the perceptions, beliefs, experiences and knowledge of HIV care issues. A total of 57 men and women participated, ranging in age from 19-61. Results included detailed information on cultural meanings of HIV/AIDS; experience of stigma and rejection; gendered health-seeking behaviour; testing issues; and satisfaction with services. Data support the conclusion that to be effective in reaching and providing services to these immigrant groups, it is crucial to understand the environment from which they come and the impact of immigration. Poverty, repressive governments, lack of education/literacy, ethnicity, class, colour-based stigma and cultural norms are crucial factors in determining their attitudes, motivations, decisions and behaviour. AIDS agencies were seen to play a crucial role in connecting PLWAs to services and resources. The key elements for the provision of services to this population appear to be those that build on cultural norms and network human and institutional resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-445
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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