P106 The Evolution of Sexual Partnerships and Condom Use Among Newly Arrived Heterosexual Latino Migrant Men

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Pre-Function Lobby & Grand Ballroom D2/E (M4) (Omni Hotel)
Norine Schmidt, MPH1, Oscar Salinas, MD2, John Hembling, MPH3, Stephanie Kovacs, BA1, Colin Anderson-Smits4, Catherine Desmarais, MPH1, Allyson Beaulieu, BA1, Lisa Longfellow, MPH5, Michele Shedlin, PhD6 and Patricia Kissinger, PhD1, 1School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 2Family Advocacy Care and Education Services, Children's Hospital of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, 3School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 4Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 5Louisiana Office of Public Health, New Orleans, LA, 6College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY

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 New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina were assembled using respondent driven sampling and interviewed quarterly for 18 months. 

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.

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