Tamra Burns Loeb, PhD

Tamra Burns Loeb, PhD

University of California, Los Angeles

Research Project:
Improving Public Health Messages to Reduce COVID-19 Spread in Black and Latinx Communities

Grant Awarded:

  • COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award

Research Topic:

  • public health

Research Disease:

  • COVID-19

Immunocompromised Black and Latinx individuals continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Yet, little is known about their perceived risks, sources of and access to COVID-19 information, factors that compromise adherence to public health recommendations, and barriers to vaccine uptake. To address these gaps, we will conduct in-depth telephone interviews with 40 English-speaking and 20 Spanish-speaking patients enrolled in an ongoing NHLBI-funded trial to assess (1) perceptions of risk; (2) sources of and access to public health messages; (3) the influence of historical and personal experiences, social factors, and concerns specific to health status on adherence to public health recommendations, including vaccine uptake. Results will help evaluate the reach of and ways to refine public health messages to reduce community spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses among under-resourced Black and Latinx people living with HIV and cardiovascular disease risks.

Black and Latino people living with HIV (PLWH) and cardiovascular (CVD) risk are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, yet little is known about their pandemic experiences. This study aims to address these gaps with in-depth telephone interviews. Preliminary findings indicate that this subpopulation perceived elevated risks and took preventative measures to safeguard health. Most were unaware of public health messages targeting PLWH or HIV and CVD risk. Healthcare practices and policies are needed to expand the reach of COVID-19 public health messages and address the unique concerns of vulnerable communities managing chronic illness to ensure continuity of care.

Supported by the Mary Fuller Russell Fund

Page last updated: September 12, 2023

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