239141 Influence of neighborhood characteristics and geographic context on HIV risk among bisexual Latino men: Preliminary findings from the Latino BiCultural Project

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:50 AM

Miguel Muņoz-Laboy, DrPH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Ashley Perry, MPH, CPH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Background: Few HIV prevention studies have focused on Latino men. Those that have focused primarily on injecting drug users or men who have sex with men, neglecting bisexual men, a population that has been identified as a critical epidemiological group for prevention efforts, yet one that remains largely understudied and underserved. In addition, overemphasis on behavior-based approaches, although essential, has resulted in an overlooking of the role that socio-cultural and structural factors, such as neighborhood characteristics and geographic context, play in influencing HIV vulnerability. Methods: The Latino BiCultural Project is a mixed-methods study that seeks to develop an empirically-grounded understanding of risk behavior among bisexual Latino men. The proposed poster is based on the ethnographic mapping component of the study, which consisted of systematically identifying how bisexual Latino men navigate through their communities and larger metropolitan areas. Findings are based on 24 months of ethnographic observation, 25 key informant interviews, and spatial data collected from 160 HIV-seronegative bisexual Latino men. Spatial data was analyzed using ArcView GIS. Results: Several maps will be presented, including: 1) spatial patterns of sexual partnerships; 2) geographic distribution of sex markets that bisexual Latino men participate in; and 3) localized contextual dimensions of risk. Conclusions: Findings suggest that the physical and social structuring of communities influences sexual partnering processes, the likelihood of engaging in risk behaviors, and access to prevention services. Understanding how these factors influence risk will enable the development of empirically-based structural interventions to more effectively reduce HIV risk among this critical population.

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

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of conducting HIV prevention research focusing on bisexual Latino men Discuss how socio-cultural and structural determinants, specifically neighborhood characteristics and geographic context, influence HIV risk behavior among bisexual Latino men

Keywords: Bisexual, Latino

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered