194745 Perceptions of HIV risk among African American, heterosexual, professional women

Monday, November 9, 2009

Danielle Parks, MPH , Health Federation of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Roberta Waite, Ed D, RN, PMHCNS , College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Elizabeth Gobs, MPH, CHES , Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Jill Foster, MD , Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Barbara L. Bungy, MPH, CHES , Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
In two decades, HIV/AIDS has become a serious threat to the health of the black community, with the most rapidly growing group of affected persons being non-Hispanic black women. In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that African American Women (AAW) were 23 times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS than white women, and were infected at 5 times the rate of Hispanic women. Furthermore, 80% of AAW diagnosed with HIV/AIDS during this time were infected through heterosexual contact.

Though HIV/AIDS research has increased among women, literature has predominately focused on low-income, impoverished, and poorly educated groups. Data related to AAW who are middle to upper class and/or who are classified as ‘professionals' was non-existent when a search was conducted using the social science databases (e.g. list databases and search terms) between 1997 to 2007.

This study is comprised of 500 AAW ages 18-65 randomly selected from the community specifically local businesses and professional organizations in the Philadelphia area. All participants completed a 14-question survey that included information on demographics, sexual history, and perceived HIV risk. The purpose of this research is to explore and identify information from professional, middle to upper class AAW about their perspective on HIV risk related behavior. The results obtained helped us to compare perceived HIV risk between AAW of varying educational backgrounds. In addition, this data will enable us to customize prevention efforts for this untapped population to mitigate AAW's risk of contracting and/or transmitting HIV.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify perceived HIV risk among professional and educated African American Women 2. Compare perceived HIV risk among African American women of varying educational backgrounds 3. Describe effective HIV prevention techniques specific for this special population

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Program Director for the Women’s Anonymous Test Site of the Health Federation of Philadelphia, and a Training Specialist with the PA/Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education Training Center. I am a graduate of Temple University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education. I received my Masters Degree in Public Health from Drexel University. I received the Young Alumni Award in 2002 from Temple University for her exemplary work in the field of Public Health in particular HIV. I have over 10 years of experience in the field of Public Health. Her background is in HIV/AIDS and STI prevention, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Women’s health, Risk and Harm reduction, Maternal Child Health, HIV counseling and testing. I am also certified by the American Red Cross as an HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Instructor.
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.

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