215861 Socio-cultural factors influencing the sexual and reproductive health of bisexual Latino men: Preliminary findings from the Latino BiCultural Project

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Miguel Muñoz-Laboy, DrPH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Ashley Perry, MPH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Edgar Rivera Colon, PhD , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Diana Hernandez, PhD , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Few HIV prevention studies have focused on Latino men. Those that have focused primarily on injecting drug users (IDU) or men who have sex with men (MSM), neglecting behaviorally bisexual men, a population that has been identified as a critical node in the transmission of HIV between heterosexual and homosexual sexual networks. In addition, overemphasis on condom-based prevention, although essential, has resulted in an overlooking of the role that socio-cultural factors—most notably workforce positioning and ideologies of masculinity—play in shaping HIV risk. The Latino BiCultural Project is a four-year ethnographic study that seeks to develop an empirically-grounded understanding of risk behavior among bisexually-active Latino men by examining socio-cultural influences on risk. This ongoing study includes ten months of ethnographic observation conducted in social spaces occupied by bisexual Latino men in five urban communities, as well as open-ended interviews with bisexual Latino men (n=40) and relevant key informants (n=10). Preliminary findings suggest that contextual factors surrounding Latino men's position in the U.S. labor market—such as access to employment, ethnic-racial tensions, heterosexism in the workplace, and job-related stress—influence bisexual men's likelihood of engaging in risky sexual practices. Cultural and societal perceptions of bisexuality and Latino masculinity also limit access to HIV prevention services among this population. Findings from this study will be used to develop innovative, evidence-based prevention strategies for bisexual Latino men. Additional studies focusing on this population are also needed to ensure that socio-cultural factors influencing risk among this important bridge population are addressed through effective interventions.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of conducting HIV prevention research focusing on behaviorally bisexual Latino men. Discuss the role of socio-cultural factors, such as workforce positioning and ideologies of masculinity, in shaping HIV risk among Latino men.

Keywords: Bisexual, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of the NICHD-funded R01 research study that will be the basis of this presentation, as well as several other previous and ongoing studies examining HIV risk behavior among 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.