Demographic and Behavioral Differences between Latino and non-Latino Patients Attending Baltimore City STD Clinics 2002-2007

Tuesday, March 11, 2008: 11:00 AM
International Ballroom South
Renee M. Gindi, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Kathleen R. Page, MD , Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Laura Herrera, MD, MPH , Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD
Emily Erbelding, MD, MPH , Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Sexually transmitted infections disproportionately affect the Latino community in the U.S., but limited information exists on behavioral risk factors and condom use in this population.

To compare demographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors between Latino and non-Latino patients attending the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) STD clinics.

We examined medical records from the first visit for patients attending the clinics between 2002-2007. Ethnicity was self-reported. We used Chi-square analysis to test for differences in demographic and risk factors between Latino and non-Latino patients. IRB approval was obtained from the participating agencies.

There were 1217 Latino and 55,706 non-Latino patients seen at the BCHD STD clinics between 2002-2007. Latino patients and non-Latino patients had similar distributions of gender (60% male vs. 58% male, respectively) and age (mean age: 29.5 vs. 30.8). There was no difference in reported same-sex contact in Latino male patients compared to non-Latino male patients (4% vs. 4%), but there were differences in other behavioral risk factors. Male Latino patients were significantly more likely to report condom use at last sexual intercourse than male non-Latino patients (26% vs. 20%, p<.0001) Little difference was seen in reported condom use at last sexual intercourse by Latina female patients compared to non-Latina female patients (15% vs. 17%, NS). Latino patients were about half as likely as non-Latinos to report injection drug use (14% vs. 26%, respectively) , commercial sex work (19% vs. 27%), or to report that a partner has engaged in either behavior (injection: 13% vs. 27%; sex work: 16% vs. 25%).

Latino STD clinic patients are less likely to have traditional sexual and behavioral risk behaviors than non-Latino patients.

A thorough understanding of circumstances contributing to risk may help shape appropriate counseling strategies and interventions.