246341 Listening to Immigrant Latino Men in Rural Oregon: Exploring Connections between Culture and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:50 AM

S. Marie Harvey, MPH, DrPH , College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Meredith R. Branch, MPH , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
L. Deanne Hudson, RN, MPH, CHES , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Antonio Torres, BA , College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
New settlement areas in rural parts of the Pacific Northwest are experiencing dramatic growth in the number of new, mainly male Latino immigrants. These men face a number of distinct challenges that may influence sexual risk behaviors and use of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS), putting them at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Addressing disparities in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) among Latinos entails understanding their attitudes and perceptions from a cultural viewpoint. In this study, we explored if and how men's actions and perspectives related to SRHS were shaped by a) being a new immigrant; and/or b) beliefs and practices that they viewed as traditional or representative of the larger Latino culture. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in English or Spanish with 49 heterosexual, sexually active men (ages 18-30) who recently immigrated to the U.S. and resided in rural Oregon. Using content analysis we found individual-level barriers to SRHS included men's lack of general knowledge of SRH and where to access SRHS, as well as their perception of personal risk of STIs/HIV and their attitudes about SRHS. On a structural/service delivery-level, the importance of privacy and confianza; the need for respectful interactions and treatment with health care providers; actual or perceived cost of services; and the need for Spanish speaking providers or translators, were dominant themes. Results provide a unique cultural lens through which to examine the SRH needs of immigrant Latino men and to address factors that affect their access and use of SRHS.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe three individual-level and perceived service delivery-level factors that affect access to sexual and reproductive health care services among a sample of male Latino immigrants. 2. Explain how cultural values influence attitudes about and perceptions of sexual and reproductive health services. 3. Discuss the implications of these findings for improving access to and delivery of sexual and reproductive health care services to Latino men.

Keywords: Latinos, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee research programs on various aspects of reproductive health.
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.