Knowledge about HIV in a Community Sample of Urban African Americans in the South
Klein H*, Sterk CE and Elifson KW
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University Atlanta, Georgia
- *Corresponding Author:
- Hugh Klein, Ph.D.
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
401 Schuyler Road, Silver Spring
Maryland 20910, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Tel: 301- 588-8875
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date September 16, 2016; Accepted date October 01, 2016; Published date October 08, 2016
Citation: Klein H, Sterk CE, Elifson KW (2016) Knowledge about HIV in a Community Sample of Urban African Americans in the South. J AIDS Clin Res 7:622. doi:10.4172/2155-6113.1000622
Copyright: © 2016 Klein H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Purpose: Race and HIV are intertwined in complex ways. African Americans, particularly those residing in the southern United States, are at great risk for contracting and subsequently transmitting HIV. Research on the extent to which members of this population understand the risks associated with engaging in specific behaviors is limited. This paper examines HIV knowledge among at-risk adult African American men and women and the factors associated with levels of HIV knowledge. Methods: Based on a conceptual model derived from Social Disorganization Theory and Syndemics Theory, interviews were conducted between 2009 and 2011. Questionnaire-based interviews were conducted with 1,864 respondents from 80 strategically-chosen census block groups in Atlanta, Georgia. An innovative approach to assessing amount of HIV knowledge was implemented, to derive better estimates of the extent of knowledge. Results: Overall, HIV knowledge was low (average=43.5% correct answers). Seven factors were identified as contributing uniquely to having higher levels of knowledge about HIV transmission: (1) younger age, (2) being educated beyond the high school level, (3) being gay, lesbian or bisexual, (4) experiencing sexual abuse during childhood and/or adolescence, (5) drinking alcohol less frequently, (6) knowing a larger number of HIV-infected persons and (7) knowing anyone currently living with “full blown” AIDS. Conclusion: HIV educational and intervention programs targeting at-risk African American adults need to develop effective ways of bolstering a solid understanding of how HIV is/not transmitted. In particular, efforts need to be targeted toward older adults, those with lower levels of educational attainment and persons who are not acquainted with anyone who is HIV-infected.