Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 172–181

High-Risk Sexual Behavior, HIV/STD Prevalence, and Risk Predictors in the Social Networks of Young Roma (Gypsy) Men in Bulgaria

  • Yuri A. Amirkhanian
  • Jeffrey A. Kelly
  • Elena Kabakchieva
  • Radostina Antonova
  • Sylvia Vassileva
  • Wayne J. DiFranceisco
  • Timothy L. McAuliffe
  • Boyan Vassilev
  • Elena Petrova
  • Roman A. Khoursine
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10903-012-9596-4

Cite this article as:
Amirkhanian, Y.A., Kelly, J.A., Kabakchieva, E. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2013) 15: 172. doi:10.1007/s10903-012-9596-4

Abstract

Roma (Gypsies), the largest and most disadvantaged ethnic minority group in Europe, are believed to be vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. This study’s aim was to examine HIV risk in 6 Roma male sociocentric networks (n = 405 men) in Bulgaria. Participants were interviewed concerning their risk practices and tested for HIV/STDs. High-risk sexual behaviors were common. Over 57% of men had multiple sexual partners in the past 3 months. Over one-third of men reported both male and female partners in the past year. Condom use was low. Greater levels of sexual risk were associated with lower intentions and self-efficacy for using condoms, drug use, having male partners, knowing HIV-positive persons, and having higher AIDS knowledge but no prior HIV testing. Two men had HIV infection, 3.7% gonorrhea, and 5.2% chlamydia. HIV prevention interventions directed toward high-risk social networks of Roma are needed before HIV infection becomes more widely established.

Keywords

HIV risk behaviorSociocentric social networksEthnic minoritiesRomaHIV/STD prevalence

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuri A. Amirkhanian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeffrey A. Kelly
    • 1
  • Elena Kabakchieva
    • 3
  • Radostina Antonova
    • 3
  • Sylvia Vassileva
    • 3
  • Wayne J. DiFranceisco
    • 1
  • Timothy L. McAuliffe
    • 1
  • Boyan Vassilev
    • 3
  • Elena Petrova
    • 4
  • Roman A. Khoursine
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR), International HIV Prevention Research CoreMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Municipal Clinical Infectious Disease Hospital Named After S.P. BotkinSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Heath and Social Development FoundationSofiaBulgaria
  4. 4.Department of Dermatology and VenereologyMedical University of SofiaSofiaBulgaria