Sex and drug risk behavior pre- and post-emigration among Latino migrant Men in Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans

Jennifer Mills, Nicole Burton, Norine Schmidt, Oscar Salinas, John Hembling, Alberto Aran, Michele Shedlin, Patricia Kissinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High rates of sex and drug risk behaviors have been documented among Latino migrant men in the US. Whether these behaviors were established in the migrants' home countries or were adopted in the US has not been described and has implications for prevention strategies. Quarterly surveys were conducted to gather information on selected sex and drug risk practices of Latino migrant men who arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina seeking work. Both kappa scores and McNemar's tests were performed to determine if practice of these behaviors in home country was similar to practice post-emigration to the US. Female sex worker (FSW) patronage, same sex encounters (MSM), and crack cocaine use was more likely to occur post- rather than pre-emigration. Of those who ever engaged in these selected behaviors, most adopted the behavior in the US (i.e., 75.8 % of FSW patrons, 72.7 % of MSM participants, and 85.7 % of crack cocaine users), with the exception of binge drinking (26.8 %). Men who were living with a family member were less likely to adopt FSW patronage OR = 0.27, CI = 0.10-0.76, whereas men who earned >$465 per week were more likely to adopt crack cocaine use OR = 6.29 CI = 1.29, 30.57. Interventions that facilitate the maintenance of family cohesion and provide strategies for financial management may be useful for reducing sex and drug risk among newly arrived migrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-613
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Binge drinking
  • Drugs
  • Female sex worker
  • Immigration
  • Latino migrant worker
  • MSM
  • New Orleans
  • New receiving community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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