Characteristics of HIV risk factors for adolescent females: A descriptive analysis of a community-based assessment in Harris County
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize age-discordant relationships, sexual coercion, and poverty as risk factors of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in a cohort of African American young women who have sex with men (YWSM). Methods: This study is an extension of a community-based assessment by a national research initiative called Connect to Protect (C2P), which examines protective factors and risk factors related to sexual transmission of HIV. 140 African American YWSM age 14-24 were surveyed in Houston, and the results of their pen-and-paper questionnaire component of the survey were analyzed for this study. An odds ratio was calculated and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were applied to examine the association between age-discordant relationships, sexual coercion, and poverty as risk factors. Results: In this sample, 41% reported having one or more age-discordant relationships and 23% reported experiencing sexual coercion prior to age 18. Age-discordant relationships were associated with the experience of sexual coercion prior to age 18 (odds ratio [OR], 2.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-5.57) but was not statistically significant (p = 0.0549). 55% of all respondents reported at least one item from the 10 items used as proxies for the impact of poverty. Of those, 40% reported three or more items. Poverty was significantly associated with age-discordant relationships ( p = 0.0012) but not with sexual coercion (p = 0.0802). Conclusions: Age-discordant relationships were significantly associated with the impact of poverty in this cohort of African American YWSM. Addressing these risk factors is key to improving outlook and reducing risk for all youth in this community. Recommendations: Future work should incorporate the following objectives: 1) School districts adopt evidence-based, age-appropriate, sexuality education programs. 2) Develop and implement new or adapt existing evidence-based prevention programs. 3) Explore age-discordant relationships as an HIV risk factor by using participatory techniques to engage in qualitative research with this subpopulation of focus. 4) Youth-serving agencies screen for age-discordant relationships and train staff on how to appropriately address such instances. 5) Examine remaining constructs contained within the PPQ for a more complete analysis of how the protective factors and risk factors are associated in this subpopulation.
African American Studies|Womens studies|Public health
Pham, Linda P, "Characteristics of HIV risk factors for adolescent females: A descriptive analysis of a community-based assessment in Harris County" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1568499.