Social networks, migration and HIV in a new immigration destination

Clare Barrington, UNC (Public Global Health)
Latinos in the US are disproportionately affected by HIV and are more likely to present with a late diagnosis compared to non-Latinos, which creates delayed engagement in HIV care and treatment. Social networks are a central driver of Latin American migration to the US and have been used extensively in health promotion efforts with Latinos, but there is a need for more in-depth understanding of these networks in a new immigrant destination to improve such approaches. I will present findings from analysis of life histories (n=15) and in-depth interviews (n=17) with Latino men and transgender women in NC about their social networks, migration, and HIV experiences. We find that social networks generally get smaller over time and are impacted by migration and the context of a new immigrant destination. Salient contextual factors shaping networks include geographic spread, participants’ work demands, oppressive immigration policy, and racial/ethnic discrimination. These factors fuel processes of “othering” and hinder the formation and maintenance of close networks, challenging the assumption that Latinos naturally have large, supportive networks that can be used for both social support and social influence approaches to health promotion.
September, 22 2014 | 12:30 - 14:00 | 230E Gross Hall

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