206299 HIV risk among immigrant Latino gay men and MSM in the rural Southern USA: Findings from a CBPR respondent-driven sampling study

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:45 AM

Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Aaron T. Vissman, MPH , Social Science and Health Policy, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Thomas McCoy, MS , Department of Biostatistical Science, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Kenneth Hergenrather, PhD, MSEd, MRC , Department of Counseling and Human Development, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Jaime Montaño , Chatham Social Health Council, Pittsboro, NC
Jorge Alonzo , Family Life Council, Greensboro, NC
Mark Wolfson, PhD , Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Cynthia Miller , Division of Public Health Sciences/Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Fred Bloom, PhD , Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background: The southeastern United States has the fastest growing Latino population in the country and carries a disproportionate HIV/AIDS disease burden. Little is known about sexual risk among recently arrived immigrant Spanish-speaking Latino MSM in the rural Southeast.

Methods: Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was used to identify potential behavioral, socio-cultural, and psychological correlates of HIV risk among Latino MSM living in rural communities in NC.

All analyses were performed using SAS version 9.1.3 and RDS Analysis Tool v5.6.

Results: Of the 191 participants, mean age was 25.6 (±5.6; range 18-48) years. About 75% reported being originally from Mexico. About 79% self-identified as gay; 9% as bisexual, and 8% as transgender. More than three-fourths reported some high school or above. Acculturation was low. Participants had low knowledge of HIV and STD transmission and prevention, and low sense of mastery of life's circumstances. Participants reported high adherence to masculine norms, high levels of sexual compulsivity, and high negative reactions to being gay.

Alcohol and drug use behaviors were low. After weighting the data according to RDS methods in order to calculate valid population estimates, consistent condom use during anal sex in the past 3 months and HIV counseling or testing within the past year were estimated to be 67.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 55.4%-84.4%) and 74% (95%CI: 63.2%-81.9%), respectively.

Conclusions: Although acculturation was low, gay self-identification was relatively high. Internalized homophobia combined with poor knowledge of risk indicates an urgent need for further study and intervention.

Learning Objectives:
By the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: 1) Describe key socio-cultural determinants of sexual health within a probability sample of Latino MSM; 2) Apply preliminary findings to future research and intervention development to reduce HIV risk among Latino MSM in the rural southeastern USA; and 3) Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using respondent-driven sampling.

Keywords: Gay Men, Latino

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Researcher focused on HIV and sexual health among Latino populations.
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.