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Ethn Dis. 2005 Autumn;15(4 Suppl 5):S5-92-6.

HIV infection and risk behavior of Hispanic farm workers at the west Texas-Mexico border.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences and Border Biomedical Research Center, The University of Texas at El Paso, TX 79968-0519, USA.


This study investigated the risk behaviors and HIV infection rate in a sample of 210 migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFW) working in the border city of El Paso, Texas and nearby communities. Surveys and structured interviews collected data on sexual behavior, drug use, condom use, and other potential risk behaviors associated with HIV infection. In addition, all subjects were tested for HIV exposure by using commercial kits. The MSFW participants were all Hispanic and comprised 156 males and 54 females. Only a small minority of the subjects reported engaging in same-sex (1.4%) or bisexual relations (2.8%). Most reported vaginal intercourse (94.7%), while 9% of males and 7.4% of females also reported anal intercourse. Forty-eight percent of the sample reported having sexual activity under the influence of alcohol (44%) and/or other drugs (14%). In this study, only 3.8% admitted to intravenous drug use. Furthermore, most reported that they never used any barrier method during vaginal (71.7%), anal (72.0%), or oral intercourse (87.5%). Only one subject, a male with multiple sex and needle-sharing partners was HIV positive. Although a low level (.47%) of HIV infection was detected in the MSFW population tested, this rate is much higher than that reported for the rest of the county (.0099%) and indicates that this population is at a higher risk of HIV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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