217092 Ethnic identity: Impact on sexual behavior among migrant workers

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nancy Shehadeh, MPH, CHES , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
H. Virginia McCoy, PhD , Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Muni Balakrishnan Rubens, MBBS , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Kelly Winter, BA, MPH candidate , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Roderick Renfrew, MBA, MPH , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Background: Research suggests that ethnic identity (EI) influences health behaviors and outcomes. However, there is a dearth of research on the impact of EI change on HIV/AIDS risk. Migrant workers (MWs) have been reported as a highly vulnerable group to HIV/AIDS.

Methods: Data was used from an ongoing HIV/AIDS intervention study among minority MWs in Immokalee, Florida. Participants (N=67) were African American (33%) and Hispanic (67%). The sample was predominantly male (64%). Baseline and two follow-up data points were utilized to assess the association between short-term ethnic identity change and change in number of sexual partners across time. EI was measured by the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM), a 12-item, self-report questionnaire. Chi-square tests were used to assess the association between these variables.

Results: Subjects were divided into two groups: those whose EI scores increased and those whose EI scores either decreased or did not change. Fifty-seven percent of subjects' EI scores increased across time. Seventy-three percent of African Americans' and forty-nine percent of Hispanics' EI scores increased over the two time points. Eighty-three percent of those participants whose EI scores did not increase (N= 24) were significantly more likely to have increased their number of sexual partners or made no change in their number of sexual partners (2= 4.73; p = 0.027; df=1,67).

Conclusion: Change in EI is associated with change in participant's number of sexual partners, which is an indication of sexual risk behavior. Programs designed to prevent HIV/STDs should attempt to increase EI throughout their designed interventions.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess how ethnic identity can affect sexual behaviors of migrant workers. 2. To discuss the literature regarding HIV risk and ethnic identity. 3. To discuss how ethnic identity can be addressed in interventions.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Migrant Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: NA

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am doctoral student that has been working on the data of this grant for approximatly two years.
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.