Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

First Advisor

Donna Richter

Abstract

Introduction: South Carolina is experiencing rapid growth in the Latino population. As a result, the number of Latino births in the state has increased dramatically within the past 15 years. Limited South Carolina Latino health data and communication/language barriers between providers and their Latina patients have made it difficult to assess whether pregnant Latinas are being routinely offered HIV testing and whether they may decline to be tested, if offered. Methods: Mixed qualitative method approach (i.e., observations, interviews, and document reviews) with prenatal care givers from seven sites that serve pregnant Latinas in five predominately rural counties in South Carolina.

Results: Although significant progress has been made in providing cultural and language appropriate services to the Latino population in South Carolina, prenatal care providers in participating sites are still experiencing barriers in providing equitable care to the Latino population. Observations, interviews, and document reviews indicated that cultural and communication gaps are highly prevalent among prenatal care clinics in the state. Findings also revealed that providers are not certain whether pregnant Latinas are fully aware that the HIV test is included in the standard prenatal panel and if the Latinas are aware that they can decline to be test for HIV. The qualitative data also demonstrated that providers are not properly trained on the prenatal HIV opt-out screening approach.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicated a need for health care settings to implement the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards. Health care administrators should support these standards and ensure their organizations offer culturally and linguistically appropriate services to their limited English proficient (LEP) patients. Equally important is the need for these organizations to be familiar with and properly trained on the opt-out HIV screening method.

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