From Theory to Application: A Description of Transnationalism in Culturally-Appropriate HIV Interventions of Outreach, Access, and Retention Among Latino/a Populations


Interventions aiming to improve access to and retention in HIV care are optimized when they are tailored to clients’ needs. This paper describes an initiative of interventions implemented by ten demonstration sites using a transnational framework to tailor services for Mexicans and Puerto Ricans living with HIV. Transnationalism describes how immigrants (and their children) exist in their “receiving” place (e.g., continental U.S.) while simultaneously maintaining connections to their country or place of origin (e.g., Mexico). We describe interventions in terms of the strategies used, the theory informing design and the tailoring, and the integration of transnationalism. We argue how applying the transnational framework may improve the quality and effectiveness of services in response to the initiative’s overall goal, which is to produce innovative, robust, evidence-informed strategies that go beyond traditional tailoring approaches for HIV interventions with Latino/as populations.

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Author information




Author contributions to the study and the manuscript following the criteria set forth by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: JAS and RAB shared first-author responsibilities. Both contributed to the design of four of the interventions that are described in this multisite initiative as research liaisons (i.e., provided technical assistance in the acquisition of data and application of theory). Additionally, both directed the content and writing of all manuscript sections. JX was the project officer of the funding agency that proposed the concept behind this multisite initiative (along with the 8th author), and contributed to the writing of the introduction. AM was also a research liaison that contributed to the design of two of the site’s interventions that are described in this study, and contributed to the writing of the introduction and discussion sections. LGG was the project coordinator for this multisite initiative and organized the acquisition of all data collected, as well as contributing to the writing of sections describing the demonstration sites in this manuscript. She provided substantial intellectual contributions through her writing and revisions to the co-authors. SZ-H was also a research liaison that contributed to the design of two of the site’s interventions that are described in this study, and contributed to the writing of sections that described the application of theory to each intervention. CERD was a consultant on this project and contributed the design of the interventions that focused on recruitment and retention of participants Puerto Rican participants. He made substantial intellectual contributions to the overall manuscript through revisions and edits. AC is the Branch Chief of the funding agency that originally proposed the concept behind this multisite initiative (along with the third author). He contributing to the writing of the introduction and discussion sections of the manuscript. JM is the principal investigator of the grant that supported this manuscript and director of the UCSF Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center, which supervised all research liaisons that are listed as co-authors on this manuscript. As senior author, she made substantial intellectual contributions through writing, editing and providing feedback on each section of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to John A. Sauceda.

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Sauceda, J.A., Brooks, R.A., Xavier, J. et al. From Theory to Application: A Description of Transnationalism in Culturally-Appropriate HIV Interventions of Outreach, Access, and Retention Among Latino/a Populations. J Immigrant Minority Health 21, 332–345 (2019).

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  • HIV
  • Latino
  • Transnationalism
  • Health disparities
  • Implementation science
  • Health service