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01.03.2018 | Original Paper

Sexual Migration and HIV Risk in a Sample of Brazilian, Colombian and Dominican Immigrant MSM Living in New York City

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Karen Nieves-Lugo, Andrew Barnett, Veronica Pinho, Carol Reisen, Paul Poppen, Maria Cecilia Zea


We examined motivations for migration to the United States (US) among 482 Brazilian, Colombian, and Dominican men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants’ most common reason for migration was to improve their financial situation (49%), followed by sexual migration in order to affirm their sexual orientation (40%). Fewer endorsed sexual migration motivated by avoiding persecution due to being gay (13%). We conducted further analyses among 276 participants who migrated after age 15 and were HIV-negative at the time of migration. We hypothesized that sexual migration would be associated with greater likelihood of HIV acquisition post-migration. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis indicated that sexual migration motivated by avoiding persecution due to being gay was associated with increased odds of contracting HIV after arrival in the US whereas sexual migration to lead a gay life was not. Our findings highlight the importance of addressing the negative impact of anti-gay discrimination in countries of origin.

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