Abstract: Partner Dynamics and HIV Testing Among Latino Immigrants: Does Shared Residence Play a Role? (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

381P Partner Dynamics and HIV Testing Among Latino Immigrants: Does Shared Residence Play a Role?

Friday, January 18, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Jane Lee, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Gabriel Robles, PhD, MSW, Postdoctoral Fellow, City University of New York, New York City, NY
Background and Purpose:  Early identification of HIV by increasing testing among high-risk communities is a priority for HIV prevention. Latino immigrants in the United States are particularly vulnerable to late HIV testing and are disproportionately impacted by HIV infection. Latino immigrants encounter unique relationship contexts due to migration, where partners often reside in different countries. While the relationship context is important in determining HIV risk and preventive behavior, less is understood about how separate residence from partners and relationship dynamics among Latino immigrants affect their HIV testing behaviors. We analyzed how relationship status and partner’s residence shape relationship dynamics and HIV testing among Latino immigrants in the United States.

Methods: Latino immigrants, 18 years or older, in New York City were recruited via a door-to-door outreach strategy. A total of 306 participants completed a socio-behavioral questionnaire, which included measures of relationship status, partner residence, partner approval of HIV testing, and HIV testing behaviors. The relationships between relationship status and partner residence, partner approval of HIV testing, and HIV testing behavior were analyzed using logistic regression within a generalized linear model.

Results: Among Latino immigrants (n=306), 41.8% reported testing for HIV in the last 12 months. Approximately half of participants (49.3%) shared the same residence as their partner, and 41.8% reported being married. The model in which shared residence moderated the relationship between partner approval for HIV testing and having tested for HIV was insignificant (Wald χ2(1) = 0.27, p = 0.60). A second model in which shared residence operated as a direct predictor to HIV testing also yielded insignificant results (OR = 0.56, 95%CI 0.24, 1.34, p>0.05). A third model where shared residence predicted partner approval (B = 0.15, 95%CI -0.15, 0.44, p <0.05), and in turn, partner approval predicted HIV testing (OR = 1.47, 95%CI 1.11, 1.94, p<0.01) demonstrated significant results.

Conclusions and Implications: While partner residency did not directly impact HIV testing behavior, partner residency did shape an important predictor of HIV testing: partner approval. The results demonstrate that shared residence with one’s partner increased the likelihood of having one’s partner’s approval of HIV testing. These results have implications for targeted HIV testing efforts particularly among partnered immigrants, and suggest the need to consider partner residency as an important factor in shaping determinants of HIV testing. Social workers that aim to increase HIV testing uptake among immigrant populations can integrate methods to address specific beliefs about the approval or disapproval of primary partners among immigrants whose partners may not reside in the same household. Given the growth of international migration, future social work research should further examine how HIV related partner dynamics among couples where partners reside in distinct residencies or countries differ from couples in more traditional relationship contexts.