The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Impact of Labor/Occupational Factors On HIV/AIDS Among Behaviorally Bisexual Latino Men in New York City

Saturday, January 18, 2014: 8:30 AM
HBG Convention Center, Room 008B River Level (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Miguel A. Munoz-Laboy, DrPH, Associate Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Background and Purpose: For more than a century, social scientists have argued the importance of social structures in shaping the health and well being of communities and populations, from the works of Engels and Marx, to the most recent works on structural violence and HIV/AIDS. The evidence suggests that social structures, particularly labor and occupation, create contexts of vulnerability that produce health risks and vulnerability, whereby virtue of the type of occupation, individuals and groups are exposed to occupational hazards and stressful conditions that increase their likelihood of: diminishing individuals’ social capital, debilitating their networks of social support, engaging in risk practices to cope with their work realities (such as binge drinking and unprotected sex), and not being able to detect early symptoms of illness such as depression and sexually transmitted infections. This presentation examines the relationship between type of occupation and sexual risk-taking among bisexual Latino men.

Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods study (sexual histories and self-administered surveys) with 142 behaviorally bisexual Latino men, aged 18-60, in New York City. Using sex market theory and the literature on structural violence, we compare sexual risk-taking among bisexual men in different sectors of the formal and informal economy including:  manual labor, hospitality, and retail/professional.

Results: Data revealed that situational and behavioral sexual risks with male partners was higher among bisexual men in the manual labor sector than among men in other sectors. Unprotected vaginal intercourse (UVI) with alcohol use, and concurrent sex with females was higher among men in the hospitality/service labor sector than among men in other sectors.

Conclusions and Implications: This study found that different labor and occupational types contributed to different contexts of sexual risk-taking and increased vulnerability for HIV/AIDS among behaviorally bisexual Latino men.  Implications for how global economic forces, masculinity, and financial and symbolic capital shape sexual risks for bisexual Latino men will be discussed.