Social and contextual (dis)advantages: The intersection of four risk factors on perceived risk for HIV transmission among African American women living in the Southern United States
Using the Health Belief Model and Cultural Ecology as a framework, this study sought to analyze HIV risk perceptions and reported sexual behaviors among African American women to inform prevention interventions to reduce health inequities. The HIV Risk Assessment Study collected social and contextual correlate data from (N=98) African American women ages 18-65 living in the South. Results disclosed self-reported relationship status correlated with perceived risk for acquiring HIV and significant associations were found among self-efficacy for HIV/STI testing and perceived risk for acquiring HIV. Though (N=41) women received an HIV test in the past 6 months, this result was not related to perceived risk. There was no significant correlation between HIV knowledge, attitudes towards condoms, and HIV risk perceptions. Outcomes indicated that HIV prevention interventions that target HIV risk perceptions, race/gender and geographic location are needed to reduce HIV acquisition rates among marginalized groups.