Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention Conference – Indiana University Bloomington – April 7-8, 2011

I just wanted to share with you an abstract for an upcoming conference here at Indiana University Bloomington – Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention Conference. I will be presenting on Sexual Health and Risk Behaviors. Please refer to the link bellow to find more information about the conference and workshops:

Martinez,O, Dodge,B, Kelle, G, Schnarrs, PW, Reece, M, JD (2011). Sexual and HIV/STI Risk Behaviors of Bisexual Latino Men in the Midwestern United States. Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention Conference, HIV/STD Prevention in Rural Communities: Sharing Successful Strategies VII, Bloomington, IN.

Introduction: Existing research on bisexuality among Latino men has focused almost exclusively on HIV risk. Little recent information is available on the sexual health needs of Latino bisexual men, particularly outside urban areas on the East and West coasts of the United States. The Midwestern U.S. has a high number of recent Latino migrants, but little information is available regarding the wide range of sexual behaviors, including risky and protective, that Latino bisexual men in this region engage in.

Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted and participants were also given the option to collect specimens for STI screening. The measures used to assess the sexual behaviors and factors sexual experiences with both male and female partners were taken from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB). The data analyzed in this paper are restricted to the 25 men who identified as Latino.

Results: Participants reported engaging in a wide range of behaviors, both in terms of lifetime and recent sexual experiences. The most commonly reported sexual behaviors were masturbation, vaginal intercourse, and receiving oral sex. The majority of the men were insertive partners during anal sex with men with fewer reporting being the receptive partner. More participants reported alcohol use during their most recent sexual activity with a male partner, compared to alcohol use with their most recent female partner. Some participants reported not using condoms in their last sexual encounter with both male and female partners. All of the participants in the study participated in the optional self-administered diagnostics for STI.

Discussion: The study provides rich insights into the individual and socio-cultural factors, as well as the sexual and risk-related decision-making processes, of bisexual Latino men that could be used for sexual health promotion efforts. Future efforts may consider a community-based approach as it was successfully implemented in this study.

Spring Break: Conference and Relaxation

Similar to Tomika, I attended the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators conference in Philadelphia during Spring Break. As a member of the preconference committee, I was responsible for selecting programs for this portion of the convention. I attended a session by Dr. Frank Harris and Dr. Shaun Harper examining issues facing college men. This session coincided with one of my research areas which examine the social construction of masculinity and male identity development. A few days later, I presented a session with colleagues from Bowling Green State University, University of Michigan, University of Georgia examining the experiences of Black doctoral students at predominantly White institutions. Approximately 80 people attended the session. At the conclusion of the conference, I spent a few days in New Jersey and New York before heading back to Indiana.

Spring Break: Conferencing and more–Part 2

My family drove up from Bloomington, Indiana to visit me at my conference center in Cincinnati, Ohio and to spend some quality time together.

Today we visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have visited several museums in the past, but this one really impacted me. The scope of coverage; the quality of the exhibits; and the use of technology, are some of the features of this museum that made the overall experience great!

Although we spent almost three hours in this museum, we are certain that we will return!

Useful Link:

Spring Break: Conferencing and more–Part 1

I initially planned to have a restful, “vegetative” spring break, where I would eat, sleep, and write my dissertation–NOT!

I am currently blogging from the National Council on Black Studies (NCBS) conference, which is being held at the Westin Cincinnati Hotel, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. After I realized that the conference coincided with my “break” I decided to make the best of it. I took a cool three-hour drive up from Bloomington, Indiana, listening to “oldies” and enjoying the sight and sounds of the Midwest.

Today I chaired a panel and tomorrow I will present my own research for members of the academic community here. Additionally, my family will join me tomorrow and we will visit the Underground Railroad and other historical and cultural exhibits in and around Cincinnati.

Hey, life’s about balance, and when you have a gazillion responsibilities that jostle each other for your attention, you just gotta find a way to balance them. Balance away Jiji! Smile.

Spring Break Plans

I am so excited to have Spring Break! This semester has definitely been a challenge for me to balance my time between my assistantship, classes, school work, and volunteering myself to extracurricular responsibilities. My Spring Break plans are somewhat work-related. In the field of higher education, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) is one of the largest professional organizations. I have the privilege of being a presenter of research I conducted last year and got published. Two of my colleagues and I will be presenting on the topic: Best Practices for Advising Student Leaders. I will be at the conference in Philadelphia for the first four days of my Spring Break. After the conference, I plan on returning to Bloomington to sleep. Not a lot of travelling this year due to the conference, but I look forward to sleeping. I would like to see some spring-like weather outside in hopes of going bike riding.

First Year Experience Conference

The Office of First Year Experience hosts an annual conference for IU Bloomington staff and faculty members who work with students. At this conference administrators from the School of Education, Residential Programs and Services, the IU Alumni Association, IU Athletics…and so many others come together to learn from one another on how to improve their administrative skills in student services. This year is the second time that it has been hosted on the IUB campus. It is called “Continuing the Legacy: A Community Committed to Student Success”. I will be presenting at the conference, with a member of my cohort, a presentation called “Professionals as Mentors: Help Needed”.

What is so great about this conference is that all sessions are led, including the keynote speakers, by administrators who at on this campus. The two keynote speakers for this year are Fred Glass, Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, and J. T. Forbes, Executive Director of the IU Alumni Association. I truly believe it is impressive for a campus to have a conference that is peer led and peer instructed to reach others around campus with similar and different functions in the lives of undergraduate students. As a student affairs practitioner, I appreciate so much the willingness of IU administrators to be innovative in providing a superior quality experience for undergraduate students. It once again reaffirms that I chose the right school to attend to prepare me for future success in my field.

New Year Resolutions!!!!

All master of public health students are required to complete an internship in the last semester of the MPH program. I plan to work on several sexual health promotion projects at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University Bloomington. For instance, one of the first goals is to complete the abstract for the 2011 Caribbean AIDS Conference. I plan to present on the major health challenges and issues facing Dominicans and Haitian immigrants at the Highlands of the Dominican Republic. The conference will help me connect with top HIV/AIDS scholars and professionals in the region. I am also taking two law school courses this semester and I need to allocate enough time for reading and case analysis!