Relationship Factors Associated with Sexual Risk Behavior and High-Risk Alcohol Consumption Among Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men: Challenges and Opportunities to Intervene on HIV Risk

The HIV epidemic continues to be a major public health concern, affecting communities with varying prevention and treatment needs. In the U.S., Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) bear a disproportionate burden of HIV incidence. While recent studies have highlighted the relevance of relationship factors for HIV transmission among MSM generally, the unique needs and experiences of Latino MSM have received relatively little attention. Consequently, associations between relationship factors and HIV risk among Latino MSM remain unknown. This mixed-method study examined relationship status and dynamics and potential HIV-related risk behaviors among Latino MSM. Quantitative analyses with 240 Latino MSM investigated associations between relationship status and engagement in condomless anal intercourse (CAI). Focus groups with 20 Latino male couples and 10 health service providers explored the impact of relationship dynamics on sexual behaviors, as well as opportunities to intervene on HIV risk. The majority of participants were predominantly Spanish speaking, most screened positive for high-risk alcohol consumption in the past month, more than half engaged in CAI in the past 3 months, and a majority reported multiple sexual partners in this period. Among participants in same-sex relationships (n = 175), approximately half reported multiple partners in the previous 3 months and more than two-thirds reported CAI in this time period. Being in a same-sex relationship was positively associated with high-risk alcohol consumption and being age 30 or older and negatively associated with having multiple partners. Moreover, being in a same-sex relationship significantly increased the likelihood that participants would report engaging in CAI. Qualitative analyses identified themes related to relationship dynamics and sexual behavior, as well as opportunities to intervene on HIV risk. Despite the challenges encountered by Latino male couples, most participants expressed commitment to and support for their partners. As such, prevention efforts involving Latino male couples must address relationship dynamics and the role they play in sexual health, including safer sex practices.

Publication Date:
Sep 15 2016
Date Submitted:
Nov 20 2018
Archives of Sexual Behavior

 Record created 2018-11-20, last modified 2019-04-03

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