HIV-Positive Latino Immigrants: Long-Distance and Close-Distance Family Relationships

HIV-Positive Latino Immigrants: Long-Distance and Close-Distance Family Relationships

Rita M. Melendez (San Francisco State University, USA), Jillian C. Salazar (San Francisco State University, USA), Kristian Fuentes (San Francisco State University, USA) and Sebastian J. Zepeda (San Francisco AIDS Foundation, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2404-5.ch011
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Many immigrants have conflicting relationships with their families. Families can be an important source of support for immigrants facing challenges in new countries. For some immigrants however, families can also be a source of frustration and lead to feelings of being trapped in old roles. For immigrants who are men who have sex with men (MSM) the contradictions of families being sources of support or sources of frustration may be heightened. This study examines family relationships among Latino immigrants who are HIV-positive MSM who are currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. In particular, issues of disclosure around sexual orientation and HIV to families are explored.
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Latinos in the US are greatly impacted by HIV/AIDS. In 2013, Latinos represented approximately 17% of the US population, yet accounted for 23% of all new estimated HIV infections (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Among Latinos who are HIV-positive, Center for Disease Control (CDC) data indicate that over a third of (36%) are tested for HIV late in their illness and are diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive. By comparison, 31% of Blacks and 32% of whites test late (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). Knowledge of HIV status among those already infected is very low (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007); thus, many Latinos are unaware their partners are infected. Higher rates of HIV prevalence is found among Latino MSM who are older, have a lower income, have a gay identity, and are born in the US or are established immigrants (Oster et al., 2013).

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