203487 Knowledge, perceived risks and barriers to HIV testing among Asian-American adolescents: Implications for targeted health education activities

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grace Hsinlan Yeh , Department of Pediatrics, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Brian Poon , Department of Pediatrics, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Loretta Au, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Shao-Chee Sim, PhD , Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Background: Studies have shown that, despite having similar rates of sexual activity and risk for HIV infection, Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in the United States have significantly lower rate of HIV testing. The limited studies that examine perceived or actual barriers to HIV testing in the API community have focused on adults rather than adolescents, who may be at the highest risk at contracting HIV. Methods: Anonymous and confidential surveys were administered to Asian-American teens aged 13 to 21 years in community health center and schools in NYC Chinatown to assess HIV knowledge and perceptions of barriers to HIV testing. Demographic information such as gender, age, birth place, prior sexual activity and previous HIV testing was collected. Statistical analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between the different demographic variables and HIV testing. Results: The preliminary data suggested that non-sexually active, younger, never-been-tested or foreign-born teens were less knowledgeable about HIV. Barriers to testing included lack of knowledge of available testing sites and lack of discussion with pediatrician for the non-sexually active or foreign-born teens, while fear or embarrassment of others' knowing and low perceived risk were the likely reasons to not get tested for the sexually active or US-born teens. Conclusion: The findings call for better education regarding the importance, ease and availability of HIV testing to be provided to Asian-American adolescents, especially the foreign-born. Perceived lower risk for HIV and fear of association with sexual activity should be addressed when offering health education activities to Asian-American adolescents.

Learning Objectives:
1.Compare the level of HIV knowledge between sexually active and non-sexually active Asian-American teens. 2.Evaluate the adequacy of existing health education and HIV prevention programs targeted at the Asian-American adolescent population. 3.Describe the need for further health education on HIV and HIV testing with the emphasis on the foreign-born adolescents.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a Health Educator at the Pediatrics department at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, I work directly with Asian-American adolescents by giving 1-on-1 health education sessions with patients on various topics including HIV/STIs, abstinence, and birth control. I take a large part in planning and coordinating health education programs and activities for adolescents in Community-Based Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, working with various community-based organizations such as the YMCA and APICHA. I am also involved in the Title X program by working on the HIV Supplemental Grant and giving school workshops on family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/STIs.
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.