206302 A Multi-methods Examination of Sexual Partnerships and Condom Use among Low Income Heterosexual African-American Men

Monday, November 9, 2009

Seth M. Noar, PhD , Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Elizabeth Webb , Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Stephanie Van Stee , Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Sonja Feist-Price , Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Richard A. Crosby, PhD , Department of Health Behavior, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, MA, CPH , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Background: This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to study the sexual partnerships, risk behaviors, and condom use perceptions of low-income heterosexually active African-American men.

Methods: The setting is a large, publicly funded STD clinic in a major metropolitan city. The research used both a quantitative survey (N = 159) and qualitative focus groups (N = 18).

Results: The quantitative survey results indicated that most men (71%) had a main partner and many (42%) also had additional sex partners. Median number of female sex partners (past year) was 4. The qualitative data also supported a norm of multiple, concurrent sexual partners, and men elucidated the different types of sexual partners that existed beyond their main partner (e.g., friend, jump off, one night stand). 13% of men reported sex with other men in the past year. The quantitative study found protected sex to be infrequent, particularly with main partners. Despite some positive attributes of condoms, qualitative discussions revealed numerous barriers to condom use in the context of main and casual sexual partnerships. Differences in these barriers as well as in approaches to condom negotiation in main versus casual partnerships were found.

Conclusions: Low income, heterosexual African-American men visiting this STD clinic were found to engage in numerous unprotected sexual risk behaviors with multiple partners. Interventions that are responsive to the unique cultural context of this population are urgently needed.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the sexual risk habits and patterns of low income, heterosexual African-American men. Discuss the value of both quantitative and qualitative research in HIV prevention with African Americans.

Keywords: African American, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have my PhD in social psychology and have been conducting HIV/AIDS research now for about a decade.
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.

See more of: Other HIV/AIDS Topic Areas
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