Online Program

Body size, ethnicity, income, and HIV testing in a diverse heterosexual sample

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Virginia Ramseyer Winter, MSW, PhD Candidate, School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Sonya Satinsky, PhD, MPH, Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Age, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) have each been explored with regards to HIV testing. Given the established relationship between body size and other sexual health behaviors (e.g., condom use), exploration of body size as an additional possible determinant of HIV testing is warranted.

Data was analyzed from the 2010 New York City Community Health Survey (N = 8,665). All heterosexual participants were included in the analyses. Measures included Body Mass Index (BMI), ethnicity, SES using the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), age, gender, and HIV testing in previous year.

BMI and ethnicity interacted to predict HIV testing in the past year: being Hispanic and of a higher BMI significantly predicted HIV testing (p < .01). SES also significantly predicted likelihood of HIV testing. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics with lower incomes (< 100% of FPL) were more likely to be tested than the same ethnic groups with higher incomes.

In ethnically diverse samples, body size may be an additional determinant of HIV screening, beyond the contributions of other sociodemographic variables. The role of lower SES in likelihood of HIV testing was surprising, and implies that outreach to certain ethnic groups who are indigent may be more effective than to ethnic groups at higher SES levels. Social service agencies may need to implement different strategies to promote HIV testing among the working poor across ethnicities. Also, the nature of the impact of body size on sexual health behaviors among Hispanic populations should be further explored.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship of BMI to HIV testing in the previous year. Describe the interaction of ethnicity and BMI to HIV testing in the previous year. Describe the relationship of SES to HIV testing in the previous year. Discuss possible public health and future research implications.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Ethnicity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked as a sexuality and HIV educator for more than six years. I have been researching relationships between body size/body image and sexual behaviors for the past year and expect to conduct my dissertation around the same topic.
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.