By David Acosta, M.D., FAAFP
Condom use is not
method of contraceptive among Hispanics. Hispanic women are less
likely to use condoms in committed relationships or in long-term
As a consequence, many Hispanic women are at increased risk of exposure
to HIV. It has also been shown that many Hispanic men are more
then non-Hispanic men to have multiple sex partners outside of their
relationship which further increases the risk of transmission (16).
1 shows the risk factors for Hispanic women.
What shapes HIV
Hispanics? See Table 2.
Hispanic teens are another group that are not only at risk of HIV infection, but who tend to participate in certain risky behaviors. Many of these behaviors include consumption of alcohol, use of drugs, participation in unprotected intercourse at a young age and having multiple partners (18). Masculinity (machismo) also has an important influence on sexual behavior. Young males with strong attitudes toward the male gender role are more likely to use condoms less often, have more sexual partners, and feel that getting a woman pregnant is a sign of masculinity (18).
There are several factors that also increase the vulnerability to HIV infection among Hispanics. There may be more permissive sexual norms, more widespread use of IV drugs, lack of prevention campaigns in Spanish and limited access to health services to name a few (19). Also, poverty may impact vulnerability to HIV in several ways.
hardships may lead to an increased risk of prostitution and an
risk of HIV and STDs (20). The lack of financial support also
to keep Hispanics from seeking necessary services or medications and
delaying care (21).