Objective: The Women's Health Institute drug treatment and HIV prevention program was studied in a quasi-experimental assessment to determine its effectiveness in reducing drug use and preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS among Hispanic women. The program focused on improving numerous aspects of the women's lives through a gender specific and culturally focused program.
Methods: A total of 148 Hispanic, substance abusing mothers were provided with drug treatment services. Four instruments were administered at program entry, 6-month post-test, and 12-month follow-up. The instruments consisted of an evaluation interview, local instrument, a cross-site instrument, and the Government Performance Results Act measure.
Results: Program results indicated positive changes in the areas of parenting, mental health, HIV/AIDS knowledge, and drug knowledge. Program participants also showed a significant decline in the mean past 30-day use of alcohol, alcohol to intoxication, and any illegal drug use. Risky sexual behavior associated with HIV/AIDS transmission failed to significantly decline over program period. The results are discussed in the context of developing culturally appropriate service models.
Conclusion: Culturally focused substance abuse treatment and HIV prevention services for Hispanic mothers are effective in decreasing illegal substance use, but have a minimal impact in changing risky sexual behavior.