In HIV Prevention Community Planning, communities and health departments come together to address HIV prevention through
an established planning process. This collaborative process was developed according to the principle that local HIV
prevention priorities and needs are best identified by a local planning body.
In late 1993, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the Guidance for HIV Prevention Community
Planning. The Guidance was intended to affect the HIV prevention cooperative agreements to state and territorial health
departments, as well as the health departments of six cooperative agreement cities. Although some health departments had
already been working directly with local communities to make decisions on the allocation of HIV prevention funding, the
implementation of the Community Planning Guidance formally brought local communities and health departments into a
partnership called the community planning process. Although community planning group (CPG) membership recruitment processes
are different in each jurisdiction, there is one constant: the requirement that community members involved in this process
reflect the epidemic in each jurisdiction.
The Latino community is the fastest growing population in the United States and the group with the second-highest risk
for HIV/AIDS. In 2000, Latinos made up 13% of the United States population but accounted for 19% of the total number of
new U.S. AIDS cases reported among adults and adolescents. The annual reported AIDS rate, per 100,000 persons, among
Latinos in 2000 was 30.4. This was almost four times the rate for Whites (7.9), but lower than the rate for African
Americans (74.2). Large populations of Latinos reside in California, New York, Florida, and Texas. Data from CDC
indicate that the geographic distribution of reported AIDS cases among Latinos follows similar population patterns.
Latinos are a diverse group composed of a mix of ethnic groups and cultures. In the United States, the largest Latino
groups are Mexicans, followed by Puerto Ricans, Central and South Americans, Cubans, and other Latinos from the Caribbean.
This diversity requires that Latinos be actively involved in the community planning process to ensure accurate
representation and communication of needs.
Latino staff of the CDC National Technical Assistance (TA) Providers’ Network for Community Planning facilitated sessions
on the Latino experience in community planning at various meetings and conferences in 2001. This document is a compilation
of information from these meetings and various other sources. It was created to serve as a tool to help CPGs, health
departments, and other stakeholders understand the issues behind Latino participation in community planning, as well as to
increase Latino participation in the process. For further explanation of the methodology used, please refer to the
methodology section of this document.
To ensure representation in the local planning process, Latinos must be involved in their local CPGs.
Numerous barriers prevent or hinder Latino involvement in the planning process. These include language differences,
cultural beliefs, and socio-economic status. Various individuals and CPGs have addressed these barriers in creative and
innovative ways. Participants in the sessions that informed this report identified initiatives that CPGs and health
departments may undertake. Specifically, the Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas state health departments provided
examples of Latino involvement in community planning (these are included in this document).
Throughout the aforementioned meeting sessions, participants also expressed
frustration with elected Latino leadership regarding HIV/AIDS issues. Many
expressed the need for national and local Latino leadership with a stronger
voice in the development of HIV prevention policy and program design. Although
the issue of leadership merits an entire discussion, it will not be addressed in
this document. However, this document may serve as a catalyst for further work.
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