Luis Maldonado

Major and Classification

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Minor in Spanish

Faculty Mentor

Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Ph.D.


Keck School of Medicine, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

McNair Project

“HIV Among Latino Men Who Have Sex With Men: The Underlying Factors of Testing”

Project Abstract

The HIV virus continues to disproportionally affect Latinos living in Los Angeles County. Since 1997, this population has had the highest percentage of new AIDS cases annually (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 2007). Moreover, Latinos discover their HIV seropositive status at a later time when compared to non-Latino Whites. As a result, Latinos may infect others and may not receive early treatment. As the Latino population continues to increase in Los Angeles, it becomes imperative to determine what factors affect HIV testing among this group. This study examines Latino men from the Hollywood and South Los Angeles areas and between the ages 18 to 24 years who have sex with men. Seven, 30-50 minute interviews were conducted, audio-recorded and analyzed for recurring themes. Overall, the results of this study showed that needle fear seemed to be a factor hindering testing, with 86% reporting needle pain and/or fear. Also, this study showed that those who know or have friends who are HIV positive tested more than those who do not. This study identified some of the reasons that determine whether Latino men who have sex with men obtain HIV testing. Findings from this study have the potential to inform and shape public policy decisions by identifying the problems and concerns of Latino men who have sex with men.