Sexual risk during initial months in US among Latina young adults

AIDS Care. 2018 Mar;30(3):353-360. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1368442. Epub 2017 Aug 28.

Abstract

Latina young adults are disproportionately at risk for sexually transmitted infections (e.g., HIV). However, little is known about social and cultural factors contributing to sexual health disparities among young adult Latina recent immigrants. The present study examined social and cultural factors contributing to sexual risk behaviors among 530 Latina women (ages 18-23) who immigrated to Miami-Dade County, Florida, approximately 12 months before assessment. At the cultural/macrosystemic level, participants who reported more sexual risk behaviors tended to (a) be less acculturated; (b) use less positive religious coping; (c) endorse to a greater extent the marianismo belief that Latinas should be the pillar of the family; and (d) endorse less of the marianismo belief that Latinas should be virtuous and chaste (i.e., abstain from premarital sex). As for individual-level factors, participants who reported more sexual risk behaviors also indicated (e) older age, (f) being married/partnered, (g) being employed, (h) living in the US longer, and (i) drinking more alcohol. Findings indicate areas for HIV/STI prevention for this underserved population.

Keywords: Recent Latina immigrants; sexual risk behaviors; social and cultural determinants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior* / ethnology
  • Sexual Behavior* / psychology
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Young Adult