Deportation History Among HIV-Positive Latinos in Two US–Mexico Border Communities


Health-related vulnerabilities associated with deportation are understudied. We conducted a cross-sectional study to identify factors associated with history of deportation from the US to Mexico among HIV-positive Latinos. From 2009 to 2010, we recruited a convenience sample from HIV clinics in San Diego, US and Tijuana, Mexico. Of 283 participants, 25 % reported a prior deportation. Factors independently associated with increased odds of deportation history were being male [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.77; 95 % CI 1.18–6.48], having ≤high-school education (AOR 3.87; 95 % CI 1.84–8.14), ever using cocaine (AOR 2.46; 95 % CI 1.33–4.57), and reporting personalized HIV-stigma: “some have told me HIV is what I deserve for how I lived” (AOR 2.23; 95 % CI 1.14–4.37). Lower self-reported antiretroviral medication adherence (AOR 0.35; 95 % CI 0.12–0.96) and perceiving HIV-stigma: “most people believe a person who has HIV is dirty” (AOR 0.49; 95 % CI 0.25–0.94) were associated with decreased odds of deportation history. Deportation is associated with specific socioeconomic indicators that are known to impact the health of individuals living with HIV.

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This study was supported in part by the NIH/National Institutes of Mental Health [1R21MH084266-01, 5K01 MH072353]; NIH–National Institute on Drug Abuse [K01-DA025504] NIH/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) [R21 AT004676-01A1]; and the NIH/NCCAM Diversity Supplement [3R21AT004676-01A1S1]. Dr. Muñoz was also supported by an NIH/NIAID T32 Training Grant [2T32A1007384-21A1] and NIH/NIDA R25 DA026401. The authors gratefully acknowledge the following individuals and community partners: Justine Kozo, Carlos Isals, Sergio Rivera, Héctor Miguel Corral Estrada, Jorge Luis Martínez, Rosario Mancillas, Rosalva Vasquez-Patton, Dr. María Remedios Lozada, José Antonio Granillo Montes, Staff at the San Ysidro Health Center, Agencia Binacional Familiar (AFABI), Es Por Los Niños, Tijuana and Albergue las Memorias A. C. We also wish to express gratitude to the Secretaría de Servicios y Asistencia and the Centro Ambulatorio de Prevención y Atención en SIDA e ITS (CAPASITS), Tijuana and the Hospital General de Tijuana.

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Correspondence to María Luisa Zúñiga.

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Muñoz, F.A., Servin, A.E., Garfein, R.S. et al. Deportation History Among HIV-Positive Latinos in Two US–Mexico Border Communities. J Immigrant Minority Health 17, 104–111 (2015).

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  • Deportation
  • Latinos/Hispanics
  • ART adherence
  • Stigma