The role of social support in HIV prevention among young Latino men who have sex with men

Roberto Trevizo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this formative study was to determine and prioritize the HIV-prevention needs of Latino young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Chihuahua (Mexico), Texas, and California, based on YMSM and service provider perceptions of the factors affecting the assimilation and implementation of HIV-preventive behaviors. These factors included: perceived social support, identification of the modes of HIV transmission, perceived risk of HIV, perceived norms and attitudes of peers. The study, drawn from a secondary data set, was a convenience sample of providers (n=8) and clients (n=15). Participants completed face-to face interviews and a survey instrument. Interviews were analyzed to identify common themes and congruence among client groups, and among clients and providers. Providers’ understanding of theoretical constructs of interventions was also assessed. Survey data were analyzed to determine variable frequencies and their congruence to the qualitative analysis. The results revealed several differences and many commonalities in the assimilation of protective messages. Client and provider perceptions were congruent across all domains. Providers demonstrated intuitive command of theoretical concepts but inconsistently verbalized their application. Both clients and providers recognized Latinos possessed high HIV-knowledge levels, despite inconsistent protective behaviors. Clients and providers consistently identified important reasons leading to inconsistent protective behaviors, such as: lack of access to targeted information and condoms, self-esteem, sexual identification, situational factors, decreased perceived HIV-risk, and concerns about homophobia, stigma, and rejection. Other factors included: poverty, failure to reach disenfranchised populations, and lack of role models/positive parental figures. The principal conclusion of the study was that there is a need for further study to understand the interrelationship between larger socioeconomic issues and consistent protective behaviors.

Subject Area

GLBT Studies|Public Health Education|Public health|Social structure

Recommended Citation

Trevizo, Roberto, "The role of social support in HIV prevention among young Latino men who have sex with men" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1475959.