132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Continued significance of race, class, and gender in HIV prevention research

Quinn M. Gentry, PhD, MBA, ORC Macro International, Inc., 3 Corporate Square NE Suite 370, Atlanta, GA 30329, 404-321-3211, Quinn.M.Gentry@orcmacro.com

Background: On April 18, 2003, The Centers for Disease Control announced its new initiative for preventing HIV infection and has been criticized on a number of issues, including the planís lack of emphasis on race, class, and gender inequality. Based on historical evidence, the author argues that public health researchers have largely ignored the unique needs of non-mainstream groups in the initial design and implementation of HIV prevention initiatives. Methods: This paper applies a case study approach of HIV prevention intervention in the lives of poor African American women, which includes: (1) an examination of the social construction, (2) theoretical models, and (3) programmatic evaluations of HIV prevention for this group. Poor African American womenís experiences with HIV prevention are used to explore ways in which the CDCís new initiative may fail those on the margins of society. Results: The social construction of HIV/AIDS occurred first among white homosexually active men in ways that may have undermined early indicators of race, class, and gender inequality as high risk factors. Once public health data confirmed poor African American womenís HIV risks, prevention interventions for this group were guided by theoretical frameworks that had been successful in lowering HIV incidence for gay white males. Conclusions: HIV prevention models continue to ignore critical social theory, including black feminist thought. HIV prevention researchers must center race, class, and gender in the design, implementation, evaluation, and publication, of HIV prevention in ways that legitimize non-traditional interventions in the field of public health.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: African American, Women and HIV/AIDS

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.

HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: African American Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA