High incidence and prevalence of HIV persist in Puerto Rico. To inform HIV prevention efforts, this study examines factors linked to HIV-associated behaviors in the territory.


Using data from the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to explore factors related to HIV-associated behaviors.


Among Puerto Rican residents (n=4446), 5.6% reported engaging in ≥1 HIV-associated behavior (past 12 months), and 39.2% had never been tested for HIV. Reporting HIV-associated behaviors was associated with male sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30-2.33), higher household income (aOR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.14-2.58), heavy alcohol use (aOR, 2.67; 95% CI, 1.68-4.25), and ever receiving an HIV test (aOR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.40-2.86) in a multivariable model. Conversely, being married (aOR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.35-0.72), having a recent routine checkup (aOR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.32-0.72), and reporting 0 days of poor mental health (aOR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.45-0.81) were associated with decreased odds of engaging in HIV-associated behaviors.


Future surveys should incorporate measures of social and structural determinants that would provide greater context for understanding behavioral factors associated with HIV vulnerability as well as for developing appropriate HIV interventions in Puerto Rico.

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