The Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health Kicks Off New Project in the Dominican Republic With Support From MAC AIDS Fund

The MAC AIDS Fund has awarded NYU Silver’s Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) funding to support the delivery of an effective, family-based HIV prevention program for youth in the Caribbean. The MAC AIDS Fund has a long-term commitment of fighting HIV/AIDS in the region. Sharing this goal, CLAFH has maintained ongoing research and programmatic activities targeting HIV prevention in the Dominican Republic, which accounts for 70 percent of the region’s HIV/AIDS disease burden. The Caribbean has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence outside of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Youth are among the most at-risk populations and account for 42 percent of all new HIV infections globally. The vast majority of the world’s youth, 90 percent, live in low- and middle- income countries such as the Dominican Republic. Despite this, most evidence-based HIV prevention efforts have been developed in high-income country settings with few adapted or developed for youth.

CLAFH’s project directly addresses the unmet prevention needs of youth in the Dominican Republic by adapting the delivery of the Center’s Families Talking Together (FTT) program. FTT has been shown to effectively lower sexual risk behavior among Latino youth in high prevalence communities in the United States. One reason FTT has been so successful is that it recognizes the important role family plays in the lives of adolescents. Traditional approaches to HIV prevention target the adolescent directly, while FTT utilizes the family as a support system to buffer against environmental and social risk factors that can lead to sexual risk behavior. The MAC-funded project will tailor FTT for the local Dominican context by incorporating specific content related to local risk factors for HIV transmission, such as the tourism industry and correspondingly high rates of drug and alcohol use and sex work.

With 1.8 billion youth living in the world today—the largest number in history—adolescents have a major role to play in HIV/AIDS prevention. Evidence-based programs which take advantage of the family as a critical determinant in a teen’s life and which can be effectively adapted across settings are crucial for addressing the HIV epidemic in the Dominican Republic and beyond.

The MAC AIDS Fund, the heart and soul of MAC Cosmetics, was established in 1994 to support men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally. MAF is a pioneer in HIV/AIDS funding, providing financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations. Recently recognized by Funders Concerned About AIDS as the top corporate giver in the arena and the number one philanthropic funder of domestic U.S. HIV/AIDS work, MAF is committed to addressing the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS by supporting diverse organizations around the world that provide a wide range of services to people living with HIV/AIDS. To date, MAF has raised more than $295 million (U.S.) exclusively through the sale of MAC's VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass donating 100 percent of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit