Complex Patterns Across the Migration Process and Associated HIV Testing and Risk Behaviors among Latino Immigrants

  • Jane LeeEmail author
  • Gary Yu
  • Yuanjin Zhou



Migrants are at elevated risk for adverse HIV-related outcomes. Yet, there is limited understanding about the complexity of the migration process and the different migration experiences that may influence HIV testing and risk behaviors. This study examined whether patterns in immigrants’ migration experience were associated with HIV risk and preventive behaviors.


Surveys were conducted with Latino immigrant adults (n = 306) in New York City during the spring of 2017. Informed by formative interviews, variables were developed to assess the migration process and document information about Latino immigrants’ experiences during six particular stages of migration (pre-departure, travel, destination, interception, return, and settlement). We conducted a Latent Class Analysis (LCA) to detect patterns in the migration experience among participants and examined the associations between the latent classes and HIV testing and risk behaviors.


LCA clustered participants into three migration experience classes: positive experience (50.3%), neutral experience (36.3%), and negative experience (13.4%). The migration classes were significantly associated with sociodemographic variables, including sex, age, and income. Different experiences during the migration process did not influence immigrants’ past or current HIV testing or risk behaviors. However, the migration classes were associated with immigrants’ future intentions to test for HIV with the positive migration experience class reporting greater intentions to test for HIV in the next 12 months than the negative experience class (aOR, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.21–7.17; p < .05).


Results suggest the applicability of a migration experience framework for understanding future HIV risk and preventive behaviors among immigrants.


HIV testing HIV risk behaviors Immigrants Latinos Migration process 



The study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R36MH108395. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support was provided by the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at New York University Silver School of Social Work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at New York University. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR)New York University College of NursingNew YorkUSA

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