“Through Madres Unidas, I learned that it is not only important to know about HIV/STI’s, but it is also important to share this knowledge with our family and friends…how to recognize what puts us at risk, and how to protect oneself. I am now a Health Educator for Madres Unidas. I have been empowered and I am proud to help other women in my community.”

– Rocio A., Madres Unidas Coordinator


90 women served annually, in partnership with The Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living
97% of participants reported increased knowledge about HIV/AIDS
84% of participants reported improved confidence and ability to use condoms correctly

Madres Unidas is a 9-week group intervention* targeting Latina mothers in Orange County.  The program helps prepare Latina mothers to discuss difficult topics generally considered taboo (such as alcohol and drug use, risky sexual behaviors, STIs and HIV/AIDS). This program aims to foster and encourage parents to discuss these topics with their children and partners.  Madres Unidas program components include:

  • Promotion of ethnic and gender pride
  • STI/HIV/AIDS health education and risk reduction
  • Assertiveness training and coping skills
  • Free on-site HIV testing and health care linkages

Why We Offer This Program

Many parents hesitate when it comes to discussing underage drinking and/or sexual behavior with their children. Perhaps they are embarrassed or feel that their daughters or sons are not at-risk. According to data from a “Monitoring the Future” national survey, about 75% of teens try alcohol before graduating from high school. The harsh reality is that many young people and parents are uninformed about how powerful drugs and alcohol can be. Being under the influence can lead to many poor choices among 15- through 17-year-olds:

  • 51% say that they are personally concerned that they might “do more” sexually than they planned to because they were drinking or using drugs.
  • Approximately four million teens contract a sexually transmitted disease (STI) each year


  • Santa Ana has the highest rate of new HIV cases of rate of 21.4, whereas, Irvine has the lowest rate at 5.0 (OCHCA HIV Fact Sheet, 2019)
  • Among youth, teenage girls ages 15-19 living in Santa Ana have the highest rate (27.9) of teen pregnancy compared to the overall cities in Orange County of 9.9 (OC Children’s Report, 2018)
  • Overall, 21.4% of California students reported drinking alcohol or using drugs before their last sexual intercourse (YRBS, 2015)
  • In 2015, 32.3% of California’s high school students reported having had sexual intercourse (YRBS, 2015)

Get Started

If you would like to apply for the Madres Unidas program, you can contact Rocio Aceves, at (714) 480-1925, ext. 128 or


  • Must live in Orange County
Rocio Aceves
Health Educator
714.480.1925, ext. 128