AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 3607–3617 | Cite as

Social Support Networks and HIV/STI Risk Behaviors Among Latino Immigrants in a New Receiving Environment

  • Meghan D. Althoff
  • Katherine Theall
  • Norine Schmidt
  • John Hembling
  • Hirut T. Gebrekristos
  • Michelle M. Thompson
  • Stephen Q. Muth
  • Samuel R. Friedman
  • Patricia Kissinger
Original Paper


The objectives of this study were to: (1) describe the quantity and quality of social support networks of Latino immigrants living in a new receiving environment, and (2) determine the role such networks play in their HIV/STI risk behaviors, including substance use. Double incentivized convenience sampling was used to collect egocentric social support network data on 144 Latino immigrants. Latent class analysis was used for data reduction and to identify items best suited to measure quality and quantity of social support. Moderate and high quantity and quality of social support were protective of HIV/STI sexual risk behavior compared to low quantity and quality of support, after adjustment for gender, years in New Orleans and residing with family. Neither measure of social support was associated with binge drinking. The findings suggest that increased quantity and quality of social support decrease HIV/STI sexual risk behaviors but do not influence binge drinking. Interventions that improve the quantity and quality of social support are needed for Latino immigrants.


Latino immigrants HIV/STI risk behaviors Substance use Social support Latent class analysis 



We are grateful to Dr. Alan Neaigus for his feedback on this manuscript. This study was supported by NIDA F30DA033729, NIDA/NCHID R21DA026806 and NIDA R21DA030269, NIDA R25DA026401, and U54 GM104940.


This research was supported by NIDA R21DA030269 and NIDA/NCHID R21DA026806, PI- Dr. Kissinger, Dr. Althoff was supported by training Grant F30DA033729 and NIDA R25DA026401, and regulatory oversight was provided by U54 GM104940.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

10461_2017_1849_MOESM1_ESM.doc (106 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 106 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meghan D. Althoff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine Theall
    • 3
  • Norine Schmidt
    • 1
  • John Hembling
    • 4
  • Hirut T. Gebrekristos
    • 1
  • Michelle M. Thompson
    • 5
  • Stephen Q. Muth
    • 6
  • Samuel R. Friedman
    • 7
  • Patricia Kissinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyTulane University School of Public Health & Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Tulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesTulane University School of Public Health & Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  4. 4.Department of Global Health Systems and DevelopmentTulane University School of Public Health & Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  5. 5.Department of Planning and Urban StudiesUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  6. 6.Quintus-ential SolutionsColorado SpringsUSA
  7. 7.National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.New YorkUSA

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