Geopolitical and cultural factors affecting ARV adherence on the US-Mexico Border

Michele G. Shedlin, Carlos Ulises Decena, Oscar Beltran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The data discussed represent the findings from a study by the NIH-funded Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center, exploring the influence of institutional and psychosocial factors on adherence to antiretroviral medications by Mexican-origin persons living with AIDS on the US-Mexico Border. A qualitative approach was utilized consisting of clinic observations, baseline and follow-up interviews with patients (N = 113), key informant interviews (N = 9) and focus groups (5) with patients and health providers. Findings include the social-normative, institutional and geo-political factors affecting treatment and service delivery as well as individual variation and culturally patterned behaviors. ARV adherence and retention were found to depend on complex interactions and negotiation of co-occurring factors including the experience of medications and side-effects, patient/provider relationships, cultural norms and the changing dynamics of international borders. We note effects of drug-related violence which created border-crossing obstacles influencing mobility, access to services and adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-974
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • ARV adherence
  • Hispanic
  • US-Mexico border

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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