205554 Do you like yourself? The effects of positive ethnic attitudes and sense of belonging on risky sexual behaviors in a migrant worker community

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:00 PM

Emma Ergon-Pérez, MA , Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
H. Virginia McCoy, PhD , Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Manny Estrada, MPH , Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Background: Migrant worker communities in the United States are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. This analysis assesses the relationship among cultural affirmation, belonging, and commitment and risky sexual behaviors as part of a larger randomized study which expands on current behavioral interventions to include contextual components (motivational interviewing and peer counseling) related to reducing HIV risk behaviors among Migrant Workers.

Methods: The targeted population was low SES rural male and female African Americans and Hispanic/Hispanic-Americans at risk for HIV due to alcohol and other drug use (AOD) and sexual behaviors. Adults were screened for unprotected vaginal/anal/oral sex and AOD consumption in the preceding 3 months. An affective component of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM), the affirmation, belonging, and commitment factor was analyzed in relationship to risky sexual and AOD behaviors.

Results: Preliminary results (n=226) indicated 60% scored high (>3) on cultural affirmation, belonging, and commitment; 40% scored low. There were no significant differences between those with a high vs. low cultural affirmation score and consumption of AOD. A negative trend between high vs. low affirmation and unprotected sex was observed, although not significant (r= -.085; p=.286). However, there was a significant negative correlation between the affective factor and total number of partners (r= -.194; p< .05) suggesting positive cultural affect is associated with less risky sexual behaviors.

Conclusion: The association between positive ethnic identity with risky sexual behavior suggests a possible relationship. These findings may be used to strengthen interventions by focusing on positive identification with ethnic identity and promoting a sense of belonging.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the interscection of awareness of positive cultural identity and healthy behaviors. 2. List the utility of measures of positive ethnic identity and sense of belonging in predicting risk for HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, Migrant Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have about 8 years of research experience involving either HIV/AIDS prevention interventions or doing Migrant Worker related research with a focus on Latinos.
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.