Tourism ecologies, alcohol venues, and HIV: Mapping spatial risk

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Mark Padilla, Leah Meisterlin, Katharine McCarthy, Kevin Lotz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Tourism areas are increasingly characterized as environments of increased HIV risk. Alcohol venues located in tourism areas have been implicated in facilitating HIV transmission; however few studies have spatially characterized alcohol venues and their potential relationship with elevated HIV risk. The limited attention to how HIV transmission is facilitated by social and spatial aspects of alcohol venues warrants further attention. We systematically assessed the social, spatial and behavioral characteristics of alcohol venues in a Dominican tourism town. A venue-based survey was completed for 135 alcohol venues located within the targeted area. Additionally, we employed geographic information systems (GIS) to spatially describe the venues in relation to HIV risk factors. Results suggest the Sosúa tourism area is characterized by: 1) a high concentration of alcohol venues; 2) widespread population mixing between risk groups; 3) spatial co- occurrence of alcohol venues, sexual commerce, and drug transactions, and 4) low availability of HIV prevention services. Our results suggest alcohol venues should be targeted for HIV prevention efforts in Dominican tourism areas. Data underscore the importance of context in shaping individual risk behavior. HIV prevention interventions and policies should consider the broader social dynamics of alcohol venues and target such venues for structural interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRecent Hispanic Psychological Research on Feeding Behavior and HIV Patients
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781629489216
ISBN (Print)9781629489193
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Alcohol venues
  • HIV risk
  • Spatial risk
  • Tourism ecologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine


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