The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3007.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 8:45 AM

Abstract #63669

HIV perceptions, testing history and prevention activities of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) residing in an urban area

Jodi A. Lapidus, PhD1, Karen McGowan, BA2, and Nora Mattek, BA1. (1) Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Mail Code CB669, Campus Services Building 669, Portland, OR 97239, (503) 494-1167,, (2) Project Red Talon, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, 527 SW Hall St, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97201

Objectives: To examine the perceptions in an urban AI/AN community about HIV/AIDS. To compare the perceptions, testing history and exposure to prevention activities in high-risk and non high-risk urban AI/AN.

Methods: Focus groups modified the CDC HIV Testing Survey (HITS) to address issues unique to urban AI/AN. Modifications included: gearing HIV perception questions toward individuals with less knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and adding questions about AI/AN susceptibility to HIV/AIDS. Six trained interviewers administered AI/AN HITS, which took approximately 35-40 minutes each.

Results: Of 222 respondents, 41% reported their chances of getting infected were moderate to high. Forty-six percent were engaging in high-risk sexual behavior and/or intravenous drug use (high-risk). Some non-risk respondents (10%) reported having had hepatitis B and/or C. Those in the high-risk group were more likely than the non-risk group to report that they were “burned out on thinking about HIV”, and “less concerned about getting HIV than 5 yrs ago”. Thirty seven percent of respondents knew AI/AN who had been diagnosed with HIV, and 31% knew AI/AN who had died of AIDS. Most respondents (92% high-risk, 75% non-risk) had been tested for HIV. Two reported they were HIV+. High-risk individuals more likely reported that their friends had been tested for HIV. Eighty one percent were exposed to prevention messages via media.

Conclusions: Urban AI/AN report that they are susceptible to HIV infection. Continued HIV testing for those still engaging in high-risk behaviors should be encouraged. AI/AN-focused HIV prevention messages and risk reduction strategies may be most effective.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, American Indians

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Influence of Lifestyle on Native Communities

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA