Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 115–122 | Cite as

Sexual Migration and HIV Risk in a Sample of Brazilian, Colombian and Dominican Immigrant MSM Living in New York City

  • Karen Nieves-LugoEmail author
  • Andrew Barnett
  • Veronica Pinho
  • Carol Reisen
  • Paul Poppen
  • Maria Cecilia Zea
Original Paper


We examined motivations for migration to the United States (US) among 482 Brazilian, Colombian, and Dominican men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants’ most common reason for migration was to improve their financial situation (49%), followed by sexual migration in order to affirm their sexual orientation (40%). Fewer endorsed sexual migration motivated by avoiding persecution due to being gay (13%). We conducted further analyses among 276 participants who migrated after age 15 and were HIV-negative at the time of migration. We hypothesized that sexual migration would be associated with greater likelihood of HIV acquisition post-migration. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis indicated that sexual migration motivated by avoiding persecution due to being gay was associated with increased odds of contracting HIV after arrival in the US whereas sexual migration to lead a gay life was not. Our findings highlight the importance of addressing the negative impact of anti-gay discrimination in countries of origin.


Sexual migration Sexual orientation discrimination HIV MSM Latino/Hispanic 



This publication was supported by NIMH Grants 1F32MH105293-01, R01HD046258, and P30 AI117970. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The research conducted for this study was approved by The George Washington University IRB and all participants were consented before enrolling in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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