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Background: Latino and Latina migrant workers constitute a vast amount of the agricultural workforce within the United States. A few studies indicate that a significant segment of the Latino migrant worker population in the United States is at high risk for alcohol abuse and related high-risk behaviors. Information about the prevalence of alcohol use and abuse and its association with high-risk sexual behaviors is needed to design effective prevention strategies in this underserved population.
Aims: To assess the association between alcohol use and high-risk sexual behaviors in this population.
Methods: Cross-sectional data was obtained from March 2018 through December 2019 as part of a study entitled “Project Salud: HIV Prevention among Latino Migrant Workers in Florida.” Study participants were recruited from neighborhoods and migrant camps in the Immokalee area in Central Florida by means of a stratified network-based (snowball) sampling design. Of the 782 screened participants, 671 (86%) met eligibility criteria and consented to participate in the study. Participants were grouped based on ‘‘no alcohol use” “alcohol use” and ‘‘binge drinking.”
Results: More than one-third (36.2%) of the sample reported no alcohol use during the last 30 days prior to the interview. The rest of study participants reported alcohol use (28.5%) and binge drinking (35.3%). Binge drinking was more common among male participants compared to their female counterparts (41.6% vs 29.6%). Among Latino migrant workers, rates of high-risk sexual behaviors in the last 30 days were generally high and did not vary as a function of alcohol use. Among Latina migrant workers, rates of vaginal sex were high for all study participants, but this behavior did not vary as a function of alcohol use. However, binge drinking was found to be significantly associated with increase rates of anal sex and multiple sex partners.
Conclusion: High-risk sexual behaviors are prevalent in the Latino migrant worker community. Among Latina migrant workers, these behaviors significantly increase among those who engage in binge drinking. Further research on the intersection of alcohol use and high-risk behaviors in the Latino migrant worker community, especially among Latina migrant workers, is necessary to develop and implement appropriate interventions.
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