Background: Latino men often migrate without wives/girlfriends and have sex with female sex workers (FSW).
Objectives: To examine patterns of sexual partnering and condom use over time among Latino migrant men and determine their risk for HIV/STI.
Methods: A cohort of 125 Latino migrants who arrived in
Results: The mean age was 30 (range 18-50); most were Honduran (71.2%) and migrated from their home country (69%). At baseline, 98.4% did not understand/speak English very well; mean time in New Orleans was 15.3 months (s.d. 8.7). Although 42.4% of the men were married, none migrated with their wives. At baseline, 51.2% had concurrent partners, 47.2% reported sex with FSW(s), 16.0% with steady partner(s), 16.8% with casual partner(s), and 31.2% were abstinent. Between baseline and 18 mo, there was a significant decrease in sex with FSW (p<0.001) and concurrency (p< 0.01) and increase in sex with steady partners (p<0.01) and abstinence (p<0.01), while the number of casual partners remained stable (p=0.96). Consistent condom use with FSW was high (68.8%-100.0%), low with steady (4.5%-4.4%) and midrange with casual (20.0%-33.3%) partners. There were no trends over time for condom use. At baseline and 1 year no GC, syphilis or HIV was detected. CT rate was 3.2% and 1.8% respectively.
Conclusions: Among Latino migrant men, abstinence and, paradoxically, sex with FSW (who usually demand condom use) may have prevented them from becoming HIV/STI infected. Over time, high rates of unprotected sex with casual sex partners may increase infection rates.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Policies that prevent Latino migrants from coming without their spouses increases their HIV/STI risk. Interventions to promote condoms with all partners are needed.