Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership

Abstract

HIV testing is a primary strategy in HIV prevention and is associated with a myriad of benefits including positive behavior changes and enhanced access to HIV care services and support. However, African immigrants delay testing and are often diagnosed with late stage HIV infection and symptoms suggestive of AIDS. Little attention has been devoted to understanding the barriers to testing among sub Saharan African immigrants in the United States.

This cross sectional survey, conducted in partnership with African community organizations in Chicago, used multistage sampling techniques to reach this hard to reach population. It attempted to elucidate the HIV testing behaviors of African immigrants and their perceptions and attitudes towards HIV infection.

Bivariate analyses revealed that the majority of participants have not had an HIV test in the previous one year. HIV risk perception was associated with a recent HIV test. Significant gender and regional differences in HIV risk behavior were noted. Logistic regression analyses revealed that HIV risk perception of African immigrants predicts their recent HIV tests. The strongest independent predictors of future HIV testing intension were marital status and HIV risky behavior.

Interventions to increase awareness of risk and expand HIV testing to meet the specific needs of African immigrants appear to be needed. Findings from this study will foster the knowledge and advocacy skills of social workers working with African immigrants.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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