Neighborhood Context of Reception and HIV Risks among Latino Immigrants in Carrboro/Durham, NC

Emilio A. Parrado, University of Pennsylvania
Chenoa A. Flippen, University of Pennsylvania

This paper builds on social disorganization theory to formulate and test a multilevel model of HIV risks, namely use of sex workers, among Latino immigrants in Durham, NC. Data for the analysis come from 1,466 face-to-face interviews with Latino migrants from 32 apartment complexes in Durham. We demonstrate that risk behaviors, as well as other social disadvantages, are directly connected with individual and neighborhood processes of social disorganization and community attachment. At the individual level, time in the U.S. alters immigrants’ propensities to engage in risk behaviors. At the neighborhood level, factors such as a highly unbalanced gender composition, large share of recent migrants, concentration of socially isolated individuals, and visible indicators of disorder such as littering are all associated with heightened exposure to risk behaviors. As a result, HIV risks concentrate in well-defined neighborhoods; implications for public health interventions are discussed.

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Presented in Session 8: Migration and Neighborhood Effects