What's New at CDAS

June 15, 2010

Health risks and length of residence in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale

Recent research as part of the Risk Reduction for Urban Substance Using MSM (men who have sex with men) project drew the attention of researchers to the social capital losses (e.g., lack of connections for finding employment) associated with moving to large cities without first establishing social ties there. 

Preliminary findings show an association between health risks and length of residence in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale metropolitan area.  Specifically, men who lived in this urban area for a longer period of time, compared to men who moved quite recently, reported higher rates of HIV infection, higher levels of HIV sexual risk, and greater involvement in drug-using networks (see chart).  The data also suggest that migrants to the area arrive with strong coping skills and protective health behaviors, but that their health risks and socio-economic outcomes deteriorate over time. There may also be a self-selection process in men choosing South Florida’s resort lifestyle. A new round of qualitative research has been initiated to explore these questions in more depth.