Cultural factors influencing HIV risk behavior among Dominicans in New York City

Michele Goldzieher Shedlin, Sherry Deren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hispanics in the United States have disproportionately high rates of HIV. The existence of ethnically and culturally diverse Hispanic communities indicate that qualitative research on HIV-related attitudes and behaviors within subgroups is needed to develop successful interventions. Findings from interviews with 20 Dominicans involved with drug-related or sex work-related activities in New York City are presented in terms of predominant cultural influences and specific issues regarding sex work, drug use, and HIV/AIDS. Several directions for interventions in the Dominican community are indicated, e.g., outreach efforts sensitive to the stigmatization of behaviors such as needle use and homosexuality, and the encouragement of sex workers to use condoms with their partners as well as clients. Additional information regarding such areas as contraception, family planning, and drug treatment services is needed within this community. A knowledge of cultural norms can serve as a foundation for these intervention and education efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-95
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • AIDS
  • Dominicans
  • Drug use
  • HIV risk
  • Hispanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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