Dominican, Mexican, and Puerto Rican prostitutes: Drug use and sexual behaviors

Sherry Deren, Michele Shedlin, W. Rees Davis, Michael C. Clatts, Salvador Balcorta, Mark M. Beardsley, Jesus Sanchez, Don Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although Hispanics are overrepresented in AIDS cases in the United States, little information is available to help understand differences in drug and sex risk behaviors in Hispanic subgroups, needed to develop appropriate prevention programs. This study reports on HIV-related risk behaviors in three groups of Hispanic prostitutes recruited in the United States: Dominican (77), recruited in Washington Heights, NY; Mexican (151), recruited in El Paso, TX; and Puerto Rican (48), recruited in East Harlem, NY. Ethnographic interviews were conducted with a subsample of subjects to examine cultural meaning of risk behaviors; structured interviews were conducted with subjects to describe demographic characteristics and summarize levels of risk behaviors. Results indicated that the labels Hispanic and prostitute obfuscated important differences related to geographic and cultural factors. To be effective for diverse Hispanic groups, HIV prevention efforts and interventions must be based on knowledge of these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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