Regional and Cultural Norms Shaping Substance Abuse, HIV and Hepatitis C Virus Risk and Prevention Needs among Minority Young Adults in A U.S.-Mexico Border Community
Thenral Mangadu, Joao Ferreira Pinto, Priscilla Guevara

Minority young adults in U.S.-Mexico border communities are at high risk for Substance Abuse(SA), and infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). With funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a Hispanic Serving institution on the U.S.-Mexico border in partnership with two community-based organizations implemented integrated SA, HIV and HCV prevention among minority young adults on collegecampus and surrounding communities. Six focus groups (3 on campus and 3 in surrounding communities; N=48) were conducted with individuals 18 – 24 years of age to inform priority population needs and project strategic plan. Five themes emerged from campus and community feedback: (i) types of substances used and local norms shaping such substance abuse; (ii) risky sexual behaviors shaped by stigma, cultural and gender norms, (iii) gaps in HIV and HCV knowledge, (iv) barriers to access and utilization of prevention services, and (v) suggestions for effective SA, HIV and HCV prevention. The implications for addressing U.S.-Mexico border regional norms shaping SA, HIV and HCV risk behaviors among minority young adultsfor interventions that engage minority young adults’ on and off campus networks are discussed.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v5n2a5