Organizing Asian Pacific Islanders in an urban community to reduce HIV risk: a case study

AIDS Educ Prev. 1996 Oct;8(5):381-93.

Abstract

We present a case study of community organization efforts within the Asian Pacific Islander communities of San Diego County to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. We utilized a five-phase process to implement the strategies of locality development, social planning, and social action: community analysis, program design and initiation, program implementation, program maintenance and consolidation, and program reassessment. An evaluation of the process indicates that there were increases over time in the project's activities as well as in the levels of interagency connectedness. This is one of the few reported efforts to organize Asian Pacific Islander groups to address HIV transmission. Key elements that led to the successful organization of the original project into a tax-exempt nonprofit entity (the Asian Pacific Islander Community AIDS Project) were emphasis on community ownership, reliance on group consensus, use of "gatekeepers" to access communities, simultaneous multilevel programming, and service to the community as a "coordinating" entity.

PIP: This case study describes a project begun in March 1993 which sought to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among the Asian Pacific Islander communities of San Diego County, California. The project involved the community organization strategies of locality development, social planning, and social action which were implemented through five phases: community analysis, program design and initiation, program implementation, program maintenance and consolidation, and program reassessment. This report describes each stage in depth and includes figures which illustrate 1) the time line of organizational, funding, and programmatic development from March 1993 to February 1995; 2) a schematic representing organizational efforts within the Asian Pacific Islander communities to reduce HIV risk and to provide HIV education; and 3) the percentage of agencies engaging in cooperative activities at baseline, 12 months, and 18 months. A table summarizes the organizational activities which took place within the community during the first year of the project. The success of the project in increasing both its activities and the levels of interagency cooperation over time is attributed to the accuracy of the initial community assessment and to a reliance on the basic principles of community organization with an emphasis on Asian Pacific Islander ownership of the initial project and the nonprofit program into which it evolved. Other key elements in the strategy were reliance on group consensus as the basis for decision-making, collection of data from the community as the basis for program planning, use of "gatekeepers" to access linguistically and culturally insular communities, simultaneous multilevel programming, and service to the community as a "coordinating" entity. To date, no assessment has been made of any changes in HIV seroprevalence rates in the target community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / ethnology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Asian Americans*
  • California
  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Community Participation / methods*
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Far East / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / organization & administration*
  • Pacific Islands / ethnology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Planning*