A Comparison of Sexual Relationships Among Hispanic Men by Sexual Orientation: Implications for HIV/STI Prevention

Joseph De Santis, Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Holly J. Mata, Bibiana Mancera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hispanic men experience high rates of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when compared to non-Hispanic whites. Many factors contribute to HIV/STI risk among Hispanic men. Some researchers have suggested that primary relationships may be a source of HIV/STIs because some men engage in sexual relationships outside of the primary relationship. However, little is known about this among Hispanic men, and less is known about how sexual relationships differ by sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to determine if Hispanic men engage in sexual relationships outside of primary relationships; and (2) to compare sex outside of primary relationships by sexual orientation. Data for this study were obtained from a larger study that investigated health risks of Hispanic men residing in the U.S.–Mexico border community. Participants were recruited from agencies that provided services to Hispanic men. Participants completed a structured interview that included questions about primary relationships and sex outside of primary relationships. The sample consisted of 103 Hispanic men (50 heterosexual, 43 gay, and 10 bisexual Hispanic men), but two participants refused to answer relationship questions, resulting in a sample of 101 Hispanic men. About one-third of the participants (n = 29) reported sex outside of the primary relationship, but no differences were found between the gay/bisexual and heterosexual men, X2 (2, N = 101) = 9.91, p = .128. More gay/bisexual men reported sex with the primary partner and another person at the same time than heterosexual men, X2 (2, N = 101) = 13.32, p = .010. More gay/bisexual men reported open relationships when compared to heterosexual men, X2 (2, N = 101) = 17.23, p = .008, and more gay/bisexual men reported sex outside the primary relationship without the primary partner’s knowledge, X2 (2, N = 101) = 15.09. p = .020. However, more heterosexual men reported that condoms were not used for sex outside the primary relationship when compared to gay/bisexual men, X2 (2, N = 101) = 14.01, p = .029. Sex outside of primary relationships presents some implications for HIV/STI prevention among Hispanic men. Because gay/bisexual men experience higher rates of HIV/STI, more attention needs to be focused on all forms of relationships to prevent acquisition of HIV/STIs. Among heterosexual Hispanic men more attention needs to be given to reinforcement of safer sex practices both outside the primary relationship, and within the primary relationship if high risk sex is occurring outside the primary relationship. More research is needed on the reasons for sex outside the primary relationship among Hispanic men, as well as research to promote safer sex practices when sex occurs outside of the primary relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSexuality and Culture
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 3 2017

Keywords

  • Hispanics
  • Men’s health
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies

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