262895 HIV risk, substance use, and suicidal behaviors among Asian American sexual minority women

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jieha Lee, PhD MSW , School of Social Welfare, Soongsil University, Seoul, South Korea
Hyeouk Chris Hahm, PhD, LCSW , Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Social Work, Boston, MA
Background: This study examinedthe role of being a sexual minority on 3 health risk behaviors:HIVrisk, substance use, and suicidal behaviorsamong unmarried Asian American women. Methods: This study is a cross-sectional study designed to investigate the prevalence of HIV risk behaviors and mental health functioning among Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese women who are children of immigrants(N=704), aged 18 to 35 using computer assisted survey interviews (CASI). A logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between being a sexual minority and health risk behaviors including HIV risk (multiple sex partners, anal sex, sex while drinking or taking drugs&risky sexual partners), substance use (illegal drug use,marijuana use &binge drinking), and suicidal behaviors (suicidal ideation& attempts). Results: Approximately one out of five Asian American women identified themselves as a sexual minority(18%). Overall, Asian American sexual minority women reported higher proportions of healthrisk behaviors, compared to exclusively heterosexual counterparts. Being a sexual minority woman was associated with 2-3 time greater odds of being engaged in HIV risk behaviors; 1.5-3 times greater odds of using various substances, and 2 times greater odds of ever having suicide ideation. Conclusion:Asian American sexual minority women havealarming risks of HIV, substance use, and mental health problems. These findings suggest that rigorous screening is necessary to identify this group and underscore the need for better assessment, and for better provision of services.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
- To describe prevalence of health risk behaviors among Asian American women - To discuss the public health implications in addressing the minority status in health risk behaviors amongAsian American women - To discuss possible intervention strategies that will reduce health risk behaviors among Asian American sexual minority women

Keywords: Health Risks, Asian Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a reseacher as well as professor focusing on HIV and STDS prevention research on minority population.
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.