262014 Alcohol use and alcohol-related HIV risk of immigrant Latino day laborers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paula Worby, MPH, DrPH , Multicultural Institute, Berkeley, CA
Kurt Organista, PhD , School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Alex H. Kral, PhD , Urban Health Program, RTI International, San Francisco, CA
Sonya Arreola, PhD , Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, San Francisco, CA
Sahar Khoury , San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
James Quesada, PhD , Department of Anthropology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Background: California Latino immigrant day laborers that stand on urban street corners seeking employment are vulnerable to difficult working conditions, discrimination, and the stress of family separation. Histories of drinking before migrating to the U.S. and easy access to/high consumption of alcohol after migrating are common narratives. Methods: This research is part of a broader study examining structural-environmental factors, alcohol and HIV risk. Analyzed data are drawn from 18 months of ethnography and 51 depth interviews in two sites. Results: day laborers' alcohol use ranges from frequent/heavy consumers to abstainers. Narratives around unprotected sex episodes typically include alcohol. Alcohol consumption takes place primarily in group housing or drinking establishments and is related to male bonding, seeking sexual encounters and as an antidote to psychological distress. Despite the challenging constraints of their lives, some day laborers dedicate significant effort to reduce or avoid alcohol use and most have strategies to avoid HIV risk. Conclusions: community level support can address alcohol abuse and HIV prevention through combating conditions that provoke psychological distress (that prompts drinking) and by facilitating social interaction that is not reliant on drinking. Public health planners and health care providers can benefit from an examination of stated motives for drinking and examples of managing risk by this sample of recent immigrants tenuously employed in the urban labor market.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to: 1. List common narratives by day laborers describing how alcohol use shapes sexual encounters, 2. Identify structural factors that shape common drinking patterns among LDL, 3. Describe the potential of reinforcing social and community support to strengthen health-promoting and safe behaviors.

Keywords: Immigrants, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working as the project director on the current study and have accompanied the PI, Dr. Kurt Organista, with this work since its conception. My doctoral training and predoc fellowship work focused on alcohol use among Latino immigrant workers and I am currently the Associate Director of a non-profit offering social and other services for the day laborer population, a position I have held for almost five 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.