173560 African American Adolescent Boys' Perceptions of HIV

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 10:30 AM

Barbara L. Dancy, PhD , Pma, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Low-income African American adolescent inner city adolescent males continue to be at disproportionately high risk for contracting HIV, primarily through sexual relationships. A cross-sectional description qualitative research design was used to explore 20 African American adolescent boys' perceptions of HIV, behaviors and situations that place them at risk for HIV infection, and of an effective HIV prevention program for African American adolescent males. Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of boys who met the selection criteria: self-identify as African American and as being between 10 and 15 years of age and their parents reporting having an income below the federal poverty line. The boys' mean age was 12.65, their mean grade was 7th, 45% were ‘B' students, 30% had failed a grade, and 75% had parents with a monthly income of $2,099 or less. Interviews were audio recorded. Qualitative content analysis revealed that 15% reported that they had heard nothing about sex. The other adolescents heard that they need to be careful “cause you might catch something”, “a bad disease”. They associated sexually transmitted illnesses, especially HIV/AIDS with death. Most (80%) knew HIV was transmitted through sexual contact, primarily by “not using a condom” and “having sex with a lot of girls”. However, 15% didn't know how it was transmitted and 10% thought poor hygiene resulted in HIV infection. The most likely behavior that led to HIV infection was not using condoms followed by multiple partners and injecting drug use. Not using condoms was reported to happen in either the boy's or girl's bedroom or any place at school, including hallway and janitor's closet. They reported that any place other than the boy's bedroom was a barrier to condom use because “you probably can't get a hold of one.” They reported that an effective HIV risk reduction program should teach prevention strategies, should be taught by health professionals who use movies and interactive games as teaching aides, and should be held at a community center. These data provide valuable input for the development of culturally, age, and gender relevant HIV risk reduction intervention for African American boys.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to: 1. describe African American adolescent boys’ perception of HIV 2. identify African American adolescent boys’ perceptions of behaviors and situations that place them at risk for HIV infection 3. identify African American adolescent boys’ perceptions of an effective HIV prevention program for African American adolescent males.

Keywords: African American, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have collected and analyzed the data. I am the principal investigator.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.