A Structural-Environmental Model of Alcohol and Substance-Related Sexual HIV Risk in Latino Migrant Day Laborers


A structural-environmental model of alcohol and substance-related sexual HIV risk in 344 Latino migrant day laborers, participants in a cross-sectional survey, is tested using structural equation modeling. Hypothesized pathways include: (1) direct paths between environmental conditions and both distress related risk factors, and cultural and community protective factors; (2) indirect paths between environmental conditions and distress through cultural and community protective factors; and (3) indirect paths between environmental conditions and sexual risk through both distress risk factors and cultural and community protective factors. As hypothesized, the environmental factors, discrimination and working conditions, were indirectly related to sexual risk through the distress related factor, problem drinking, and through the protective factor, contact with family in country of origin. More specifically, as discrimination and working conditions worsen, contact with family decreases, problem drinking increases, and sexual risk increases. Implications for multi-level interventions are discussed.


Un modelo estructural-ambiental de riesgo de VIH sexual relacionado con el alcohol y las sustancias en 344 jornaleros migrantes latinos, participantes en una encuesta transversal, se prueba usando modelos de ecuaciones estructurales. Las rutas hipotéticas incluyen: (1) rutas directas entre las condiciones ambientales y los factores de riesgo relacionados con la angustia y los factores de protección culturales y comunitarios; (2) rutas indirectas entre las condiciones ambientales y la angustia a través de factores protectores culturales y comunitarios; y (3) rutas indirectas entre las condiciones ambientales y el riesgo sexual a través de factores de riesgo de angustia y factores de protección culturales y comunitarios. Según la hipótesis, los factores ambientales, la discriminación y las condiciones de trabajo, estaban indirectamente relacionados con el riesgo sexual a través del factor relacionado con la angustia, el problema con el alcohol y, a través del factor de protección, el contacto con la familia en el país de origen. Más específicamente, a medida que empeoran la discriminación y las condiciones de trabajo, disminuye el contacto con la familia, aumenta el problema con la bebida y aumenta el riesgo sexual. Se discuten las implicaciones para intervenciones de múltiples niveles.

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This study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (5R01AA017592-04; Principal Investigator: Kurt C. Organista). The authors thank members of the research team who contributed to survey development and implementation: Sonya Arrelola, Sahar Khory, Alex Kral, James Quesada, and Paula Worby.


The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Grant Number 5R01AA017592-04).

Author information




The study was conceptualized by Dr. KCO who also took the lead in writing the manuscript. Methodology was jointly conceptualized by Drs. KCO, WJ, and TBN with formal statistical analyses performed primarily by Dr. WJ and secondarily by Dr. TBN. All authors reviewed and edited the draft, read and approved the final submitted manuscript.

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Correspondence to Kurt C. Organista.

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All research procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board at the University of California, Berkeley (Approval Number 2010-02-726) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Individuals were also compensated for their participation in the study.

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Organista, K.C., Jung, W. & Neilands, T.B. A Structural-Environmental Model of Alcohol and Substance-Related Sexual HIV Risk in Latino Migrant Day Laborers. AIDS Behav 24, 3176–3191 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-02876-4

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  • Latinos
  • Migrant workers
  • HIV
  • Psychological distress
  • Alcohol and substance use