A Couple-based Approach: AN Innovative Effort to Tackle HIV Infection among Latino Gay Men
The HIV epidemic is a serious and pervasive health issue in the Latino community. While prevention efforts have helped maintain stability in the overall number of infections among Latinos for more than a decade, this population continues to be affected by HIV at high levels. In particular, Predominantly Spanish-speaking Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately impacted by HIV. Several factors contribute to the HIV epidemic among Predominantly Spanish-speaking Latino MSM including substance use; intimate partner violence; the presence of certain STIs; same-sex relationship dynamics; avoidance of seeking testing counseling and treatment out of fear of discrimination and immigration status; and poverty, migration patterns, and language barriers. In particular, epidemiological behavioral research has identified how relationship dynamics in male couples are associated with sexual risk behavior. Consequently, further research is needed to identify and deliver interventions geared toward couple-based risk reduction among men in same-sex relationships. This paper describes the potential significance that innovative couple-based approaches can have on reducing HIV and AIDS cases among Predominantly Spanish-speaking Latino MSM and their same-sex partners.