Prevalence of HIV risk-related behaviors among undocumented Central American immigrant women in Houston, Texas, 2010
The primary aim of this dissertation research is to provide epidemiological data on HIV risk-related behaviors among undocumented Central American immigrant women living in Houston, Texas. Between February and May 2010, we used respondent driven sampling (RDS) to recruit 230 Guatemalan, Honduran, and El Salvadoran women, ages 18 to 50 years, living in Houston without a valid United States visa or residency papers. RDS is a probability-based sampling method that utilizes social networks to access members of hidden populations that lack a sampling frame. Participants completed an interview regarding their demographics, access to and utilization of healthcare services, HIV testing, and sexual behaviors. Data from this study were used 1) to describe the prevalence of sexual HIV risk-related behaviors among undocumented Central American immigrant women, comparing those who recently immigrated to the U.S. (within the past five years) to those with more established residency (of over five years); 2) to describe the prevalence of lifetime HIV testing and evaluate its associated factors in this target population; and 3) to describe the effectiveness of RDS to access members of this target population. As described in Paper 1, there was a generally low prevalence of individual HIV risk-related behaviors (i.e., multiple, concurrent, convenience, and casual sexual partnerships) among the undocumented Central American immigrant women in this study. However, there was evidence of HIV risk due to unprotected sex with male partners who have concurrent sexual partnerships. We identified recent immigrants as the subpopulation at greatest risk, as they were significantly more likely than established immigrants to have multiple and/or concurrent sexual partners. As described in Paper 2, the lifetime prevalence of HIV testing was almost 70%. After adjusting for age, number of years living in the U.S., income security, and resource barriers, lifetime HIV testing was significantly associated with being from Honduras, having more than a sixth grade education, having a regular healthcare provider, and having knowledge of available healthcare resources. Finally, as described in Paper 3, RDS was an effective method for obtaining a diverse sample of Central American immigrant women in Houston. This project is the first to use RDS to conduct an HIV behavioral survey among undocumented Central American immigrant women. Our results will inform the design of future research studies and the implementation of HIV prevention activities among undocumented Central American immigrants in the U.S.
Behavioral Sciences|Hispanic American studies|Epidemiology
Montealegre, Jane Richards, "Prevalence of HIV risk-related behaviors among undocumented Central American immigrant women in Houston, Texas, 2010" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3464858.