The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3356.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 6

Abstract #64458

Family embeddedness and HIV risk behaviors among drug users in Puerto Rico

Rafaela R. Robles, EdD, Juan C. Reyes, EdDc, Héctor M. Colón, PhD, Tomás D. Matos, MS, Hardeo Sahai, PhD, C. Amalia Marrero, MPH, and José M. Calderón, MS. Center for Addiction Studies, School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, PO Box 60327, Bayamón, PR 00960-6032, 787-785-4211,

Familism has been reported in many studies as a protective factor that prevents family members from engaging in drug use and abuse. However, there is a dearth of information on the role of the Hispanic family in protecting its members from engaging in HIV risk behaviors. This study examined the impact of family embeddedness (measured as time spent in various activities with the family) on HIV risk behaviors, among 556 Hispanic injection drug users (IDUs) in Puerto Rico. Bivariate analysis and logistic regression models were used in the analysis. Results: More than one third of the sample were 25 to 34 years old (36.6%); 90% were males; over half had not completed a high school education (56.9%); and close to 10% were homeless. Males and homeless participants were less likely to spend time with their families. Logistic regression analysis showed that IDUs who spent time with their families were less likely to share needles (O.R.=0.52, CI: 0.28-0.98) and pool money to buy drugs (O.R.= 0.54, CI: 0.35-0.85). Conclusions: HIV prevention services providers need to be cognizant of the protective factors inherent in the Hispanic family, and need to use this structural resource to enhance the effectiveness of their programs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Family Involvement, Hispanic

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Health Disparities as a Determinant of Latino Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA