College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Cultural influences on HIV testing among Latino youth

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-12-2015

Publication Title

Culture, Health & Sexuality

ISSN

1369-1058

Volume

18

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Young Latinos aged 13-24 years in the USA are disproportionately impacted upon by HIV. Despite the elevated risk, lower rates of HIV testing have been documented among Latino youth relative to other racial/ethnic groups. The objective of the current study was to examine the influence of acculturation and cultural values on HIV testing among Latino youth. The study consisted of 51 sexually experienced young Latinos aged 13-16 years from a major city in the Southeastern USA. Participants completed a survey on HIV testing history, cultural orientation and Latino cultural values. Results indicate that 21.6% of the young people had been tested for HIV. The number of times tested ranged from one to four (M = 1.9 ± 1.0). HIV testing was associated with US American cultural orientation and familism (and emphasis on strong family commitment, family support and emotional closeness). Participants with greater orientation to US American culture were more likely, whereas those who endorsed higher familism value were less likely, to have had an HIV test. For participants scoring high on familism, the desire to maintain family honour may serve as a deterrent to testing. Incorporating culturally relevant strategies, such as promoting sexual communication and conversations on HIV prevention within the family, may enhance testing and narrow the gap in HIV infection between Latino youth and other ethnic groups.

DOI

10.1080/13691058.2015.1084650

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