255980 Sexual practices and HIV risk behaviors among African American women partners of sex-trading men who have sex with men and women: A descriptive analysis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jo Brocato, PhD , School of Social Work, California State University Long beach, Long Beach, CA
T. Alex Washington, PhD , School of Social Work, California States University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Yolanda Green, PhD , School of Social Work, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Gabriel Robles, MSW , Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, NY
Background: African American women continue to be affected disproportionately by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Prevention efforts focusing on individual behavior have failed to produce a significant reduction in the incidence of HIV in the African American community during the past 20 years. This has directed greater attention to network epidemiology and the structural factors-of racism, community disorganization, poverty, and gender inequality that contribute to the formation of sexual network patterns of African American women. The current study explores the HIV related behaviors of a group of African American women at the high-risk margins of the African American community. These women are the primary partners of male sex workers who have sex with both men and women (MSMW). Methods: African American women primary partners (N=106) completed a self-report questionnaire using Audio Computer-Assisted Self Interviewing (ACASI), regarding drug using behavior, sexual practices, sexual behavior, HIV and STI history. Results: Descriptive and univariate analyses determined the majority of the participants were unemployed, were unstably housed, had a history of incarceration, used crack cocaine, engaged in unprotected sex. A majority of the participants did not know their HIV status, and half reported having an STI within the last 12 months with higher rates of STIs reported for participants who used crack. Conclusions: Prevention programs targeted for this population of African American women must consider the STI and HIV risks that are present on many levels and that behavioral decisions are influenced by structural and contextual factors as well as individual agency.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1)Identify the multiple levels of HIV risk for African American women primary partners of MSMW. 2)Describe the structural factors of oppression contribute to the divergent and concurrent sexual network patterns for African American women primary partners of MSMW. 3)Discuss how multiple stigmas may impede access to prevention and treatment services. 4)Formulate ideas for prevention and treatment strategies tailored to address the needs of African American women primary partners of MSMW.

Keywords: African American, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been on the faculty of the School of Social Work at California State University Long Beach since 2008 and I a licensed clinical social worker in California. I have presented my research at national and international conferences and my scholarship includes HIV and drug use, alternatives to incarceration;reentry for drug users, and harm reduction.
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.