Background Migration and mobility have been associated with higher drug and sex risk behaviour. Whether this increased risk is a result of the characteristics of mobile persons or environmental influences in a receiving community has not been well elucidated. The purpose of this analysis was to determine if risk behaviour was a continuation of sending country practices or if it was adopted in the new receiving environment (ie, New Orleans).
Methods A cohort of Latino migrant men (n=93) were interviewed at baseline, 3 and 6-month visits and asked about past month behaviour. At a subsequent visit, they were also asked about behaviours in their sending country. All interviews were conducted in Spanish by trained staff. Four behaviours were examined: patronage of a female sex worker (FSW), sex with a man (MSM), binge drinking, and crack cocaine use. Cross-tabulations and McNemar tests were performed.
Results At baseline, the men were mostly Honduran (71.0%), migrated directly to New Orleans from their country of origin (62.0%), were single (50.5%) with a median age of 28 (range 18−50) and a median of 6 years of schooling. The percentage of men reporting patronage of FSW, MSM and crack cocaine use was significantly higher in New Orleans than in the sending country, and high proportion of those reporting the behaviours in New Orleans, did not practice these behaviours in the sending country. When comparing sending country to New Orleans behaviour in order to examine discrepancies for behaviours, all but binge drinking were significantly different (p<0.04) with adoption of the behaviour in New Orleans accounting for >85% of the discrepancy see Abstract P1-S2.75 Table 1.
Conclusion Rates of these four risky behaviours were high and, with the exception of binge drinking, were largely behaviours adopted in the USA Newly arrived migrant men are a group at high risk for sex and drug related STI/HIV. Interventions to prevent transmission in this vulnerable, difficult-to-access and highly mobile population are greatly needed.
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