Wednesday, March 12, 2008
STD/HIV rates among African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans in California are significantly higher than among other racial/ethnic groups. Aside from behavioral risks, multiple societal factors contribute to these disparities, including poverty, access to care, racism, and sexual networks. Addressing these health disparities is complex. Data describing the magnitude of the disparities and culturally competent public health department (HD) staff are pieces of the process to identify solutions.
1. Develop educational and epidemiologic resources to increase awareness of STD/HIV racial health disparities in California.
2. Increase HD state/local staff skills to discuss the magnitude and complexities of STD/HIV racial/ethnic disparities in trainings, with clients and in community work.
In January 2006, an interdisciplinary Racial Disparities Working Group (RDWG) was formed. Incorporating input from stakeholders, RDWG and other STDCB staff developed tools and resources and provided trainings to increase awareness and culturally competency of state and local public health staff.
From October 2006 to 2007, resource tools developed for local HDs and other partners include:
1) 80 slides on STD/HIV racial health disparities epidemiologic data, with talking points; for incorporation into plans and presentations;
2) Presenting on STD/HIV Racial Health Disparities: a frequently-asked-questions guide for trainers with references;
3) STDCB Racial Disparities Fact Sheet.
Eleven interactive skill-building trainings addressing the complexities of racial health disparities were provided for state and local HD staff.
RDWG developed several resources and trainings to increase awareness, comfort levels and skills of STDCB and local HD staff to better address racial disparities in their presentations, trainings, and work at the client and community level.
Accurate data and a culturally competent HD workforce are necessary steps in the process to work with communities to collectively develop much needed, creative, and multifaceted approaches to address these health disparities