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Social networks and HIV awareness in African and Hispanic immigrant women

Sharon Morrison, MSPH, PhD, Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 437 HHP Building, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, (336)334-3243, sdmorri2@uncg.edu

Background: The Triad region in North Carolina is home to a growing population of immigrant women. These women face a number of challenges, including limited English language proficiency, little or no social support and poor access to health care. An additional concern is the possible risk of HIV due to ignorance, stigma and cultural norms. Little is known about these immigrant women’s social networks and sexual relationships and how these affect women’s awareness about HIV, its risks and prevention. Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study is to understand how these women view their social networks, the cultural norms governing sexual behavior and their perspectives on HIV and condom use. The study also explores women’s views on ways the social networks can facilitate improved HIV prevention outreach for this population. Methods: Focus group discussion and in-depth interviewing methods are used to collect data from a sample of African and Hispanic women who represent French, Arabic and Spanish language groups. They were recruited through immigrant advocacy organizations. Interpreters are used to facilitate communication with limited English proficiency women in the sample. Results: The PEN-3 model for cultural understanding is used as a framework for situating resultant themes. Themes will be organized as positive (beneficial and culturally empowering), existential (indigenous) and negative (harmful and should be carefully understood before targeting). Conclusion: The implications of these findings will be discussed in terms of culturally sensitive and relevant outreach for these immigrant women.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Immigrant Women, 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: Latino and Hispanic Health

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