Cell phone utilization among foreign-born latinos: a promising tool for dissemination of health and HIV information

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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

Latinos in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by HIV and are at risk for late presentation to care. Between June 2011 and January 2012, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of 209 Baltimore Latinos at community-based venues to evaluate the feasibility of using communication technology (ICT)-based interventions to improve access to HIV testing and education within the Spanish-speaking community in Baltimore. Participants had a median age of 33 years (IQR 28-42), 51.7% were male, and 95.7% were foreign-born. Approximately two-thirds (63.2%) had been in the U.S. less than 10 years and 70.1% had been previously tested for HIV. Cell phone (92.3%) and text messaging (74.2%) was used more than Internet (52.2%) or e-mail (42.8%) (p<0.01). In multivariate analysis, older age and lower education were associated with less utilization of Internet, e-mail and text messaging, but not cell phones. Interest was high for receiving health education (73.1%), HIV education (70.2%), and test results (68.8%) via text messaging. Innovative cell phone-based communication interventions have the potential to link Latino migrants to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services.

Leite L, Buresh N, Rios N, Conley A, Flys T, Page KR. Cell phone utilization among foreign-born Latinos: a promising tool for dissemination of health and HIV information. J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Aug; 16(4): 661–669. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9792-x PMCID: 3681917.

Washington University, St. Louis, MO