Online Program

Sexual HIV risk behaviors among formerly incarcerated Black Americans

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, PhD, School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Noreen Boadi, MA, Ed.M, School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Rahma Mkuu, MPH, CPH, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Lanxiang Li, BA, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
Edgar Vargas, BA,, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Rahwa Haile, PhD, Public Health, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY
Zeinab Farhat, BA, School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Introduction. In the United States, incarceration rates and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are both disproportionately high among Black Americans. The HIV epidemic among Black Americans is largely driven by risky sexual behavior, which reportedly increases substantially post-release from prison. This study examined factors associated with HIV sexual risk behavior among Black Americans recently released from prison.

Methods. One hundred and twenty-four formerly incarcerated Black Americans were interviewed between January 2014 and January 2015. Participants were recruited from criminal justice agencies in New York City. Descriptive statistics and chi square analyses were used to examine the relationship between HIV sexual risk behavior and a range of individual factors.

Results. Most participants were male (85%), heterosexual (79%), and had never been married (68%). On average, participants were 44 years old, had been incarcerated for three years, and had been released from prison within the past eight months. Seventy percent of the participants reportedly engaged in illicit drug use post-release from prison. Seventy-one percent engaged in unprotected sex, and 62 percent reported multiple sexual partners. Participants who engaged in unprotected sex were more likely than those who did not engage in unprotected to report multiple sexual partners (p=.001) and illicit drug use (p=.06).

Conclusions. Prison-based and community-based HIV prevention programs are needed for Black Americans who experience incarceration. Programs that are offered within the period of transition between prison and the community may be especially useful for this population.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the extent to which formerly incarcerated Black Americans are engaging in high risk behaviors post-release from prison.

Keyword(s): HIV Risk Behavior, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved with the "Sexual HIV risk behaviors among formerly incarcerated Black Americans" study as a graduate student at Columbia University where I received my MPH in sociomedical science in May 2014. My primary scientific interests involve exploring health disparity topics such as access to care and social-determinants of health among minority populations.
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.