Complex Patterns Across the Migration Process and Associated HIV Testing and Risk Behaviors among Latino Immigrants

Jane Lee, Gary Yu, Yuanjin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Migrants are at elevated risk for adverse HIV-related outcomes. Yet, there is limited understanding about the complexity of the migration process and the different migration experiences that may influence HIV testing and risk behaviors. This study examined whether patterns in immigrants’ migration experience were associated with HIV risk and preventive behaviors. Methods: Surveys were conducted with Latino immigrant adults (n = 306) in New York City during the spring of 2017. Informed by formative interviews, variables were developed to assess the migration process and document information about Latino immigrants’ experiences during six particular stages of migration (pre-departure, travel, destination, interception, return, and settlement). We conducted a Latent Class Analysis (LCA) to detect patterns in the migration experience among participants and examined the associations between the latent classes and HIV testing and risk behaviors. Results: LCA clustered participants into three migration experience classes: positive experience (50.3%), neutral experience (36.3%), and negative experience (13.4%). The migration classes were significantly associated with sociodemographic variables, including sex, age, and income. Different experiences during the migration process did not influence immigrants’ past or current HIV testing or risk behaviors. However, the migration classes were associated with immigrants’ future intentions to test for HIV with the positive migration experience class reporting greater intentions to test for HIV in the next 12 months than the negative experience class (aOR, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.21–7.17; p <.05). Conclusion: Results suggest the applicability of a migration experience framework for understanding future HIV risk and preventive behaviors among immigrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • HIV risk behaviors
  • HIV testing
  • Immigrants
  • Latinos
  • Migration process
  • Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Emigrants and Immigrants/statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • HIV Infections/diagnosis
  • Young Adult
  • Mass Screening
  • Risk-Taking
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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