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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
5180.0: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 2:45 PM

Abstract #150841

Present but not accounted for: Identifying and addressing the needs of non-heterosexually identified women with HIV in interventions targeted to women with HIV

Lisa Bowleg, PhD, School of Public Health, Drexel University, 1505 Race Street, Mailstop 1032, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215-762-1652, Lisa.Bowleg@drexel.edu and Michelle Teti, MPH, DrPh, Public Health, Drexel University, 1505 Race Street, Floor 11, Bellet Building, Philadelphia, PA 19102.


Heterosexual women are the focus of most sexual risk reduction interventions targeted to HIV-positive women. Thus, HIV-positive women who do not identify as heterosexual are likely to have unique sexual risk reduction needs that go unaddressed in interventions targeted to women. This presentation focuses on the risk behaviors of non-heterosexually identified (NHI) women in the Protect and Respect program, a research intervention designed to decrease the sexual risk behaviors of HIV-positive women through tests of the efficacy of provider and group-delivered safer sex messages. Participants complete a computerized evaluation assessment at four time points to measure their HIV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.


Descriptive statistics, Fisher's exact chi-square tests, and Mann Whitney tests were used to describe the NHI women and to compare the heterosexually-identified (HI) and NHI subsample. Analyses focus on baseline data from a subsample (n = 32) of NHI women in Protect and Respect (N = 185). Like the larger sample, the NHI women were mostly poor (81%), African-American (81%), and between the ages of 30 and 49 (78%).


Results demonstrated that compared with their HI counterparts, the NHI women were more likely (p < .05) to report that they acquired HIV from needles; obtained their income from sex work, hustling, or selling drugs; and to report a higher mean number of male sex partners in the past six months.


There is a critical need for more research about the risk behaviors of HIV-positive NHI women, and interventions to address their risk reduction needs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Lesbian

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Sexual Identity and Behaviors

The 135th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 3-7, 2007) of APHA