HIV and Diabetes

HIV and Diabetes

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HIV and Diabetes

Due to the changes implemented in the country’s health policy under the Affordable Care Act, the overall health of American citizens has attained a considerable improvement over the last decade. Despite this, a cross-section of Americans has not benefited from advancements in terms of access to care services, technology, and prevention interventions. In fact, studies have established the correlation between race/ethnicity and health differences. For instance, African American babies are more susceptible to experience morbidity within their first year in contrast to white babies. Similarly, race and ethnicity also contribute to health disparities among the members of the Hispanic population with respect to diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Due to the differences in care and prevention, it is imperative to necessitate the implementation of health interventions aimed at addressing disparities associated with HIV and diabetes among Hispanics.

The Viva la Vida Project: Addressing Disparities in Diabetes Management

One of the programs developed for addressing disparities in terms of the implications of diabetes among the Hispanic population involves the Viva la Vida Project. Accordingly, the program – which literally stands for Live Your Life – is focused largely on older Hispanics who are more susceptible to the threat of acquiring diabetes. The program, which was developed by a Medicare organization called Lumetra, focuses specifically on the improvement of care interventions provided to Latino seniors that suffer from diabetes in an effort to address the discrepancies that affect the respective populace from receiving adequate health services (Olson, Sabogal, & Perez, 2008). The program in question targets healthcare facilities and providers as well as persons that benefit from the Medicare scheme via low-literacy, bilingual health education paraphernalia, interventions, provider and community partnerships, as well as media organizations. In respect to its focus on the management of diabetes among older Hispanic citizens, the Viva la Vida program has been successful in enabling the reduction of the disparities evidenced in the testing of glycosylated hemoglobin among Hispanic and white Medicare beneficiaries.

The success of the Viva la Vida program is primarily based on the way it recognizes the implications of management interventions focused on diabetes among members of the Hispanic population. Generally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has engaged in the financing of quality improvement entities within each state in an effort to observe and decrease health-based disparities within the Medicare populace. Essentially, the program concentrates on ensuring that patients from underserved populaces attain the best possible care at the proper time. In this respect, California’s quality improvement organization, Lumetra, developed the respective project to enhance diabetes care services for Hispanic Medicare recipients and reduce the differences in yearly glycosylated hemoglobin testing levels between Hispanic and white beneficiaries across four counties (Olson et al., 2008). Usually, tests conducted on the levels of glycosylated hemoglobin tend to determine how a patient’s diabetes is being managed over time. As such, based on these evaluations, the program’s inclination towards the respective ethnic group was based on their high susceptibility towards the attainment of diabetes and related complications.

Consequently, the interventions that the Viva la Vida program integrates facilitate its effectiveness as far as addressing disparities in diabetes care is concerned among older Hispanic populations in California. A particular aspect that reaffirms the success of these approaches involves cultural competency. Accordingly, the program applies the media in an effort to enhance outreach to Hispanic Medicare recipients and to strengthen its messages (Olson et al., 2008). The use of the respective strategy is in response to the incapacities that affect most Latinos. Undoubtedly, mass media constitute the essential sources of information that Hispanics depend on as an outcome of their low skills in reading (Olson et al., 2008). Consequently, Spanish-speaking Hispanics depend considerably on Spanish television and radio for information. In this respect, the program develops public service announcements (PSAs) for the radio as well as engages in interviews on Spanish television and radio stations within the respective counties (Olson et al., 2008). The application of these culturally competent strategies establishes the foundation for the program’s success and effectiveness in reaching members of the Hispanic population in respect to addressing disparities in diabetes care.

Project SEPA: Addressing Disparities in HIV Prevention

Aside from diabetes, members of the Hispanic community are also exposed to the threat of HIV/AIDS. The program, Salud Educacion Promocion and Autocuidado (SEPA), comprises a culturally competent program aimed at addressing the disparities that underlie HIV care and prevention among Hispanics, especially women. Accordingly, the SEPA program is comprised of five interventions that focus on covering HIV and STI prevention. These involve communication, condom use and negotiation, and prevention of violence (CDC, 2013). The basis for these specific measures is based on the increased extent to which Hispanics are more susceptible to HIV-based infections in contrast to their white and African-American counterparts. Since the incidence of these infections is rather considerable among members of the respective group, Hispanic women are more exposed to STIs and HIV via sexual intercourse with male partners (CDC, 2013). Nonetheless, the implementation of SEPA was a success as far as addressing disparities in HIV prevention among Hispanic women. This was attributed to increase in condom application, health protective information based on HIV, and knowledge regarding HIV among Spanish-speaking Hispanic women.  

The successful nature of the SEPA programs was also based on its culturally competent interventions. Rather than focus on the implementation of a blanket policy, the program focused on approaches that were culturally tailored for Hispanic women based in Chicago (CDC, 2013). Since the interventions primarily targeted these ethnic groups, the focus shifted towards the utilization of the Spanish language in an effort to educate the women about the significance of condom use as well as negotiation when considering participation in sexual intercourse with male partners (CDC, 2013). Additionally, the program utilized researchers and personnel that were familiar with the disparities in HIV prevention experienced by the group in question. As such, they were capable of participating and engaging with Hispanic women regarding issues related to the prevention of HIV from a cultural standpoint (CDC, 2013). With these aspects in question, Project SEPA was capable of addressing the health disparities affecting Hispanic women in respect to the prevention of HIV and STI infection effectively.


In conclusion, disparities in healthcare assume a significant part of the American healthcare system. Regardless of the increase in the quality of healthcare over the years, minority groups continue to suffer as an outcome of decreased access to the best possible care systems and interventions implemented in contrast to their white counterparts. The Hispanic population’s susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes and HIV has necessitated the implementation of programs and interventions aimed at addressing the respective disparities. Accordingly, the Viva la Vida project and the SEPA program have managed to address challenges affecting older Hispanic populaces suffering from diabetes and Hispanic women exposed to the threat of HIV infections in California and Chicago respectively. The success of these programs has been attributed to their inclination towards cultural competency and familiarity with the issues that affect these populations on a micro level. As such, these interventions have illustrated the extent to which culturally competent interventions are capable of addressing disparities in care among vulnerable populations in the United States.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013, April 15). SEPA (Salud/Health, Educación/Education, Prevención/Prevention, Autocuidado/Self-care): A Small Group-level Intervention for Heterosexually Active Hispanic Women/Latinas. Retrieved from

Olson, R., Sabogal, F., & Perez, A. (2008). Viva la Vida: Helping Latino Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes live their lives to the fullest. American Journal of Public Health, 98(2), 205-208. Retrieved from

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