Sexual Cultures and Migration in the Era of AIDS: Anthropological and Demographic Perspectives

By Gilbert Herdt | Go to book overview

13 Sexual Relations Between Migrating Populations (Vietnamese with Mexican and Anglo) and HIV/STD Infections in Southern California

JOSEPH CARRIER, BANG NGUYEN, and SAMMY SU


Introduction

This chapter explores findings from a one-year ethnosexual field investigation conducted in 1992 by the author and his Vietnamese American colleagues on the relationship between the sexual behaviours of men of Vietnamese origin with their Vietnamese, Mexican, and Anglo American sex partners and HIV/STD infections in the County of Orange, located in Southern California. It provides an excellent example of some consequences of the sexual mixing of migrating populations and illustrates how these findings might assist health educators formulate meaningful programmes for the prevention and control of HIV/STD infections.

The chapter also presents historical ethnography on sexual behaviours in Vietnam, and surveys research findings of three limited studies of the sexual behaviours of Vietnamese Americans living in Los Angeles in 1988, in San Francisco in 1991, and in Orange County in the fall of 1992. Finally, a comparison will be made of the field research findings with the survey research findings to illustrate the limitations of survey research methodology in mapping out the sexual geography of populations like the Vietnamese where very little is known about their sexual behaviours.

____________________
The field research reported in this chapter was conducted by the author and his Vietnamese American colleagues Bang Nguyen and Sammy Su. Special acknowledgement is given Kim Khanh Mai who conducted several important focus groups of Vietnamese Americans. The authors would also like to thank the following Vietnamese Americans for their contributions to the field research: Sonny Phan, Dien Pham, Tuan Le, Anh Le, Thanh Phan, Nghia Tran, Tu Tran, Cuong Le, and Loc Nguyen. They would also like to acknowledge the support given by Lynda Doll and Kate McQueen at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta; Edwin Lopez, Esteban Inzunza, and Chuck Morrison who are assigned to the STD Control Unit in Orange County; Peter Burrell, Rick Greenwood, and Esther Murray at the Orange County Health Care Agency; and Pat Roemer, a special friend and ESL teacher of Vietnamese Americans in Orange County.

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