Acculturation as a Moderator of HIV Risk Behavior Correlates Among Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men

Abstract

Acculturation is associated with increased sexual risk behaviors among heterosexual Latinos, but its influence among Latino gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) remains less clear. Elements of acculturation may create distinct lived experiences among sexual minority Latinos, moderating how beneficial and adverse influences contribute to their sexual risk behaviors. Latino MSM living in New York City (n = 412) were recruited using a modified time-space venue- and web-based sampling method. Negative binomial regression models estimated associations between indicators of acculturation (i.e., language use, nativity status, ethnic identification), sexual minority stressors (i.e., internalized homophobia, sexual orientation-based discrimination), peer condom use norms, and the number of serodiscordant condomless anal intercourse (SDCAI) encounters. Acculturation indicators were then tested as simultaneous moderators of the influence of each predictor variable on the outcome. The association between internalized homophobia and SDCAI was significant only among English language speakers (aIRR = 3.05 [2.13, 4.37]) and those born outside of the U.S. (foreign-born = 0, aIRR = 0.17 [0.08, 0.36]). Sexual orientation-based discrimination and SDCAI were also positively associated among both English-speaking (aIRR = 1.82 [1.22, 2.72]) and foreign-born men (aIRR = 0.34 [0.14, 0.84]). Stronger ethnic identification also moderated the protective effects of peer condom use norms on SDCAI (aIRR = 0.28 [0.15, 0.52]). Results suggest that different dimensions of acculturation help shape how both stressors and protective factors influence HIV risk among Latino MSM. Future research is needed to examine the mechanisms through which these differences in acculturation may act on sexual risk behaviors among Latino MSM.

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Acknowledgements

The research was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD059729) to Beryl A. Koblin. José Diaz was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (T32-DA007233 and T32-DA031099). We thank Ana Abraído-Lanza, Alex Carballo-Diéguez and Lisa Rosen-Metsch for their helpful comments on a previous draft of this article. The ideas and findings presented here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the NIH.

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Diaz, J.E., Schrimshaw, E.W., Tieu, H. et al. Acculturation as a Moderator of HIV Risk Behavior Correlates Among Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men. Arch Sex Behav 49, 2029–2043 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01604-x

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Keywords

  • Latino men who have sex with men
  • Acculturation
  • Sexual minority stress
  • HIV risk behaviors
  • Sexual orientation