Cohort I
2015 - 2017

Andres Camacho-Gonzalez | Suzanne Grieb
Marco Hidalgo | Thespina (Nina) Yamanis


Suzanne Grieb

Suzanne Dolwick Grieb, PhD
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

CFAR Mentor:
Deanna Kerrigan, PhD
   (Johns Hopkins CFAR)

Collaborating Partner:
Milagros Garrido, MS
   (Healthy Teen Network)

Leveraging Latino Immigrant Social Networks to Reduce HIV-related Stigma

Compared to non-Hispanic whites infected with HIV, Latinos are more likely to present late to HIV care. More specifically, according to CDC data, Latinos born in Mexico and Central America have more than twice the risk for delayed diagnosis compared to U.S.-born Latinos. Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) surveillance data shows that Latinos in Baltimore are diagnosed with HIV later than other racial/ethnic groups, and at the Johns Hopkins Moore Clinic almost half (48%) of foreign-born Latinos present with opportunistic infections.

The late presentation of foreign-born Latinos entering into HIV care suggests that a large proportion of HIV-infected foreign-born Latinos in Baltimore have not been diagnosed. HIV stigma has been associated with reluctance to be HIV tested among Latinos. Since the stigmatization of HIV/AIDS is a social process that is constantly changing and often contested, social marketing campaigns and community mobilization have the potential to reduce stigma and influence social norms, thereby changing behaviors associated with HIV at the community level.

Most immigrants rely heavily on social networks within the receiving communities to settle in their new environment, and we hypothesize that some elements of these social networks generate and sustain HIV-associated stigma, while others could be leveraged to reduce stigma.

In partnership with the BCHD Latino Outreach Program, the Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA) and community leaders and members, we have developed the concept and design elements of a social marketing campaign called "Solo Se Vive Una Vez" (You Only Live Once). This campaign is aimed at reducing HIV stigma and increasing HIV testing among foreign-born Latinos.

Our goal, therefore, is to identify social network characteristics within the emerging Latino immigrant community that can be leveraged to promote stigma reduction and improve HIV testing. Identifying and collaborating with members of these networks will be critical to the successful implementation of the "Solo Se Vive Una Vez" social marketing campaign. Given recent demographic changes in the U.S., we believe that our work in Baltimore may be applicable in other urban settings with emergent Latino populations.

   PubMed list of Dr. Grieb's Adelante-related publications