178892 Cultural Influences, Sexual Venacular and HIV Risk Among African American Men

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 1:00 PM

Marya Shegog, PhD, MPH , Pharmacy Practice, Hampton University School of Pharmacy, Hampton, VA
Christopher LaRose, PhD, MA , Arnold School of Public Health, Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership, Columbia, SC
Melva V. Thompson-Robinson, DrPH , Department of Health Promotion, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Donna L. Richter, EdD, FAAHB , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Vanisha L. Brown, PhD, MPH , School of Graduate Studies and Research, Division of Public Health Practice, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Denethia B. Sellers, PhD, MSW , Arnold School of Public Health, Institute of HIV Prevention Leadership, Columbia, SC
Background: The topic of sex within the African American community remains taboo. Current statistics reveal that HIV/AIDS is rapidly spreading throughout the heterosexual population within the United States. Heterosexual males accounted for 15% of the newly diagnosed cases in 2005 in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting (CDC, 2007). In order to effectively address HIV/AIDS among heterosexual males, this qualitative study seeks to identify cultural influences, unique attitudes, beliefs, facilitators, and barriers surrounding sex and sexual terminology among heterosexual African American males.

Methods: A total of thirteen (13) focus groups were conducted with self-identified heterosexual African American men aged 18-65 in urban and rural areas in the Southeastern United States. These semi-structured discussions concentrated on perceptions of HIV and partner risk, as well as cultural influences surrounding sexual behavior among African Americans. Each of the discussions was audio-taped and professionally transcribed. Emerging and recurring themes were identified by coding data using NVivo 2.0. Sexual terminology was identified and further analyzed for lexical frequency and semantic grouping.

Results: There remains a power struggle within the bedroom. This study identified unique sexual terminology and perspectives regarding sexual behaviors among heterosexual African American men. Urban culture, media, and religious organizations contribute to African American males' sexual perceptions, behaviors, and language regarding sex.

Conclusions: These findings can serve as a guide for public health practitioners, who are currently working towards developing comprehensive, culturally and linguistically relevant interventions specifically for heterosexual African American men.

Learning Objectives:
Objectives: By the end of the presentation participants will be able to: 1. List words colloquially used by African American men in the Southeastern United States to describe sex and sexual behaviors. 2. Describe how the words are utilized and how their meanings give unique insight into how heterosexual African American men perceive sex. 3. Discuss the multiple cultural influences on sex, sexual terminology and sexual behaviors of African American males 4. Discuss how awareness of this terminology and cultural influences can lead to increased cultural competence in the field of HIV/STI prevention with heterosexual African American men.

Keywords: African American, Male Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the data analysis, wrote the abstract and I am currently working on the corresponding manuscript.
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.