205447 Sexual Risks among HIV positive Latina's Residing along the U.S.-Mexico Border

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:45 PM

Antonio Estrada, PhD , Mexican American Studies & Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Barbara D. Estrada, MS , Impact Consultants, Inc., Tucson, AZ
Stephen Trujillo , El Rio/Special Immunology Associates, Tucson, AZ
Background: Increasing HIV/AIDS rates among Latina's have been reported by the CDC. Heterosexual contact and Injection Drug Use (IDU) are the most prevalent transmission modes among Latina's. The need to identify Latina's who are HIV positive and enroll them into health care remains a high priority, especially in the U.S.-Mexico Border region where a lack of health care is systemic.

Methods: Between 2000 and 2005, 921 HIV positive Latina/o's were recruited into a multi-site study involving several health care centers along the U.S.-Mexico border (the HRSA SPNS Border Initiative). The present analysis examines data from HIV positive Latina's (n=149). Sexual risk behaviors were ascertained, after an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, for the “past year” and the “past 30 days.”

Results: High prevalence rates were found for unprotected sex with HIV infected and non-infected persons among HIV positive Latina's. Of the 149 Latina's in the sample 41.6% indicated they had had unprotected sex with males within the past year (p<.0001). A significantly higher proportion of Latina's than Latino's reported having unprotected sex with an HIV positive person in the past year (p<.0001). No significant gender differences were found for having been diagnosed with a new STI.

Conclusions: Engagement in sexual risk behaviors among HIV positive Latina's continues to be problematic. Findings indicate that unprotected sex with males and other HIV+ persons is still prevalent. These findings also correlate with increasing rates of heterosexual transmission in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Implications for HIV testing, and prevention with positives, especially HIV positive Latina's, are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
•Describe sexual risk behaviors among HIV positive Latina’s living along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Describe the dynamics of risk in the U.S.-Mexico border region. •Discuss the need to focus on high risk heterosexual Latina’s.

Keywords: Latinas, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Twenty years HIV/AIDS research experience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.