142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

African American college students' attitudes and beliefs about concurrent sexual partnerships

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Diane B. Francis, MSc, MA , School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Joan Cates, PhD , School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Adaora A. Adimora, MD, MPH , Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: HIV and other STIs disproportionately affect young African Americans, including college students. Concurrent sexual partnerships, more common among younger people, may contribute to higher STI rates. However, we know little about attitudes and beliefs related to concurrency among this population.

Methods: We surveyed African American students (n = 211) attending a large public university in the Southeast to gauge their attitudes, perceived norms and intentions in relation to concurrency. We also assessed students’ demographics and sexual behavior.

Results: Most students were female (83%); mean age was 22. Most students (63%) reported sexual activity in the past 12 months and more than a quarter (28%) had a concurrent partnership in the past year. Overall students had negative attitudes towards concurrency (M=2.33, SD =1.07) and perceived the behavior to not be the norm among their peers (M=2.35, SD=1.05). Students also strongly indicated that they would end relationships with a partner who had other partners (M=4.55, SD=.60). Consistent with prior research, males (M=2.92, SD=1.03) were more likely to perceive concurrent partnerships as normative than females (M=2.24, SD=1.02), t(189) =3.48, p<.01. Though not statistically significant, students who did not participate in concurrency (M=2.52, SD=1.10) had more negative views than those who did (M=2.41, SD=1.02), t(115) =.44, p=.66. In multivariate analyses prior concurrency predicted students’ perceived norms (p<.01) and intentions (p<.05) but not attitudes (p=.63).

Conclusion: Despite negative attitudes and beliefs, some African American college students continue to have concurrent partners, suggesting the importance of college-based safer sex interventions.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe sexual concurrency-related attitudes, beliefs and intentions among African American college students. Explain the relationship between prior concurrency behavior and attitudes, norms and intentions among African American college students.

Keyword(s): HIV Risk Behavior, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a current doctoral student whose research interests include the development and evaluations of health communication interventions to reduce health disparities. I have worked on multiple federally funded grants, including an NIH-funded mass media intervention targeting young rural African Americans' participation in concurrent sexual partnerships. I have conducted both qualitative and quantitative public health research, particularly among minority communities. I am co-investigator on two university-sponsored grants assessing sexual risk behaviors among college students.
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.