Intervention for Migrant Puerto Rican Drug Users (Bienvenidos Project)
Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Project dates: July 2004 - April 2009
Principal Investigator: Deren, Sherry

The Bienvenudos project was based on results of the ARIBBA dual site study, that identified higher HIV-related risk behaviors among Puerto Rican drug injectors who resided in Puerto Rico as compared with their counterparts in New York City. This project was developed to reduce HIV risk among individuals who had used drugs in Puerto Rico and were now living in the Northeast US (New York and New Jersey). The intervention incorporated peer outreach workers and program staff from methadone maintenance treatment programs, with the focus on training patients to talk to other drug users about HIV-related issues, including sex risk and injection-related risks and training staff in the higher risks of injectors coming from Puerto Rico. An intervention was implemented, and assessments were made of changes in clinic services to address the needs of migrants, and reductions in drug- and sex-related risk behaviors of participants.  It was found that patients in methadone maintenance treatment programs who were migrants could participate in extensive, multi-session training opportunities, although additional support may be needed for those who continue to use drugs. In addition, outcomes for participants included increases in: their perceptions of helping their communities, engaging in conversations with others about HIV, and initiating vocational activities.

Abstract on NIH RePORTER
Related Publications
Deren S, Kang SY, Mino M, Guarino H (2012).
Conducting peer outreach to migrants: Outcomes for drug treatment patients
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14 (2), 251-258. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9467-4. PMCID: PMC3178661.

Deren S, Shedlin M, Kang SY, Cortes DE (2011).
HIV risk and prevention among Hispanic immigrants in New York: The salience of diversity
Substance Use and Misuse, 46 (2-3), 254-263. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.523215.

Colon RM, Deren S, Guarino H, Mino M, Kang SY (2010).
Challenges in recruiting and training drug treatment patients as peer outreach workers: A perspective from the field
Substance Use and Misuse, 45 (12), 1892-1908. doi: 10.3109/10826081003684863.

Deren S, Kang SY, Mino M, Guarino H (2010).
Migrant drug users: Predictors of HIV-related sexual and injection risk behaviors
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 12 (2), 179-186. doi: 10.1007/s10903-008-9218-3.

Guarino H, Deren S, Mino M, Kang SY, Shedlin MG (2010).
Training drug treatment patients to conduct peer-based HIV outreach: An ethnographic perspective on peers’ experiences
Substance Use and Misuse, 45 (3), 414-436. doi: 10.3109/10826080903452439. PMCID: PMC2841030.

ARIBBA: Alliance for Research in El Barrio and Bayamon
February 2005