HA Finlinson

Central University of the Caribbean, Bayamon, Cidra, Puerto Rico

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Publications (5)8.82 Total impact

  • H. Ann Finlinson · Hector M. Colon · Rafaela R. Robles · Mayra Soto
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that sexual silence, family loyalty, and homophobia foster health-compromising behaviors among adult Latino gay males, but little is known about the effect of these sociocultural factors on the lives of Latino children and young teens characterized by gender nonconformity and homosexual orientation. This exploratory study of Puerto Rican men who have sex with men (MSM) used multisession qualitative interviews to examine early life experiences related to gender identity and homosexual orientation, and the place of drug use and risky sexual behavior in sexual identity formation. Gay male and transsexual female participants described at least one sympathetic family member, usually a female, who accepted cross-gender behavior and/or homosexual orientation. Half of the participants experienced unwanted sex as minors, and all were subjected to bullying by schoolmates. As pubescent youth, participants frequented adult gay venues where they were exposed to high-risk sexual and drug-related behaviors. Interventions for sexually questioning and gay/transsexual Puerto Rican youth are proposed.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2007 · Youth & Society
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    ABSTRACT: In the process of preparing jointly purchased drugs, injection drug users (IDUs) may share drug preparation materials and use a single syringe to distribute injectable drugs. The aim of this study was to examine the association of joint drug purchasing with drug preparation risk behaviors among Puerto Rican IDUs. The study sample comprised 555 IDUs from New York City and 297 from Puerto Rico. IDUs reported pooling money for 12% of the injection episodes in New York, and for 14% of the injection episodes in Puerto Rico. In both study sites, all correlation coefficients between frequency of pooling money and drug preparation behaviors were .30 or larger. After controlling for sociodemographics, drugs injected, and injection frequency, pooling money was significantly associated to all four drug preparation behaviors in both study sites. HIV prevention interventions need to be cognizant of the joint purchasing of drugs and its relationship to drug preparation risk behaviors.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2001 · AIDS and Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effectiveness of the first needle exchange program (NEP) established in Puerto Rico. The data for this study were collected during the first months of the NEP from July 1995 to March 1996 in 13 communities of the San Juan metropolitan area. Subjects were the participants of two modalities of the NEP: a mobile team and a community-based drug treatment program. During the 3-week evaluation period, 2401 injection drug users (IDUs) were recruited, resulting in a total of 19,195 exchange contacts and 146,323 syringes exchanged. No significant change in drug injection was observed. However, the program was effective in reducing sharing of syringes and cookers. The study suggests that the NEP did help in reducing needle sharing in Puerto Rico. However, the HIV seropositivity in returned syringes suggests the need to continue aggressive prevention programs to arrest the epidemic among IDUs. However, factors related to the socio-cultural environment as well as cultural norms and traditions need to be considered when planning and expanding NEPs.
    No preview · Article · Oct 1998 · Health Policy
  • R R Robles · CA Marrero · T D Matos · H M Colón · HA Finlinson · J C Reyes · H Sahai
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    ABSTRACT: Despite available strategies to prevent sex risk behaviours in Puerto Rico, heterosexual transmission of HIV continues to increase. Since 1990, heterosexual contact has been the fastest growing infection risk category among the island's general population, and the primary transmission route for women and children. To understand change in sex risk behaviours and factors related to change, 911 drug injectors and 359 crack smokers were recruited from the San Juan metropolitan area following a stratified cluster design. This study comprised a total of 1,004 (79.1%) drug users who were assessed at follow-up. Abstinence from sex behaviour increased from 54.6% to 61.1% (p < 0.01), use of condoms during vaginal sex also increased from 26.4% to 36.9% (p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, significant predictors of abstinence were gender, injection drug use, HIV seropositivity and not having a steady partner. Predictors of using condoms during vaginal sex were HIV seropositivity, STD diagnosis and participation in an HIV preventive programme. These findings indicate that additional HIV preventive efforts are needed to reduce sex risk behaviours among drug users who have a steady sex partner, as well as among drug users who are HIV-negative.
    No preview · Article · Jul 1998 · AIDS Care
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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to assess HIV risk behaviors, HIV seroprevalence, and tuberculosis (TB) infection in shooting gallery managers in Puerto Rico. The subjects were 464 injection drug users (IDUs), of whom 12.5% reported managing shooting galleries. The median frequency of drug injection was higher in shooting gallery managers than in nonmanagers. A trend was observed for purified protein derivative (PPD) reactivity to increase according to the length of time spent as a gallery manager, but this trend was not statistically significant. However, anergy rates increased significantly with increase in the number of months spent as shooting gallery manager (p = .021). Multivariate analyses showed that IDUs reporting shooting gallery management experience of > or = 25 months were more likely to be infected with HIV. Prevention programs need to emphasize strategies to protect the health of shooting gallery clients and, in particular, shooting gallery managers. Additional studies are required to determine effective strategies for reducing the risk of HIV and TB infection in shooting galleries.
    No preview · Article · Apr 1998 · Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology