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

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

3357.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 5

Abstract #63671

HIV/AIDS Misperceptions Among Hispanics in California

Assunta Ritieni, MHS1, Joel M. Moskowitz, PhD2, and Maya Tholandi, MPH1. (1) HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Branch, Office of AIDS, California Department of Health Services, 611 North 7th St., Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95814, 916-322-1618,, (2) Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 140 Warren Hall, Berkeley, CA 94704-7360

Background: Recent studies have shown Hispanics to have lower HIV/AIDS-related knowledge than other racial-ethnic groups. As Hispanics are a high-risk group for HIV/AIDS in California, the goal of this study was to take a closer look at HIV misperceptions among Hispanics in order to contribute to the development of targeted prevention programs. Methods: Between April and June 2000, 455 Hispanic adults (18 years of age or older) participated in a random-digit-dial telephone survey in California. Sample data were weighted based on selection probabilities and population demographics. Individual HIV/AIDS misperception items were first analyzed to assess misperceptions about specific modes of HIV transmission. A composite misperception score was then created using factor analysis to explore its association with stigma and to identify correlating demographic characteristics. Results: Based on the composite HIV/AIDS misperceptions score, the mean percentage incorrect among Hispanics was 32.0% (CI: 27.2-34.8). Misperceptions were found to be associated with discomfort with buying groceries from where an HIV+ person works (r=.206, p<.001). Misperceptions were also associated with opposition toward allowing HIV+ students to attend school (r=.403, p<.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that Hispanics who completed the interview in Spanish, were 45 or older, or who had less than 12 years of education had a significantly higher degree of misperceptions than other Hispanics [(Unstandardized beta (b)= 0.12, CI: 0.05,0.19), (b=0.17, CI: 0.08,0.23), (b=0.16,CI: 0.10,0.23), respectively]. Conclusions: There is a need to educate Hispanics to reduce misperceptions about modes of HIV transmission. Such misperceptions may contribute to stigmatization of HIV+ individuals and unnecessary anxiety.

Learning Objectives:

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.

Health and Healthy Behaviors Among Latinos

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