Using network approaches to recruit Latino migrant men and their sexual and drug contacts
Norine Schmidt, Tulane University
Keywords: Latino migrants, Sexual and Drug Networks, HIV
Background: Network approaches could improve study recruitment of hard-to-reach populations like Latino migrant men (LMM) and their networks. Methods: Sexual and drug contacts of LMM were recruited using coded referral coupons and dual incentives. Participants were interviewed at venues of their choice to elicit detailed information on sex and drug behaviors and network members’ attributes. White boards were used to help participants visualize/describe their networks. Participants were screened for HIV/STIs. Results: Enrolled participants (N=81) named 291 (191 unique) network members: 50.2% sexual contacts, 42.6% drug contacts, and 7.2% drug/sex contacts; 35.3% of sex contacts were with female sex workers (FSW). Of the 191 unique network members nominated, 77% of men and 15% of women agreed to enroll. Few tested positive: HIV (1/79), syphilis (1/75), and chlamydial/gonorrhea cases (0/78). Conclusions: Despite high interconnectedness among network members, enrollment of nominated network members, especially women, was difficult. Recruitment alternatives for female network members could include venue based recruitment, less restrictive network criteria and parallel recruitment.