Morehouse Research Institute

Fall 2007 – Volume 13, No. 2

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African American College Students’ Attitudes Toward HIV/AIDS: Implications for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Sandra E. Taylor, Tara Jones – pg. 1

This paper investigated African American college students’ responses to a set of interview questions selected from a larger survey instrument in an exploratory study of basic attitudes about HIV/AIDS. Forty-two participants responded to an interview schedule in an investigation of student attitudinal domains regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Results show that while most students’ attitudes were consistent with expectations, a number of students expressed attitudes that are counterproductive in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Given the epidemic within the African American community, such findings appear ominous and implore strategies, in particular, from the institution whose primary function is the education of its populace. Unless aggressive steps are taken to address the problem across college and university campuses, there can be no lessening of the epidemic’s impact within this community, and thereby no positive impact toward the goal of U.S. lowered rates consistent with recent global trends.


HIV/AIDS Perceptions Attitudes and Behaviors Among HBCU Students
Michael Hodge, Bruce H. Wade – pg. 13

College environments are typically considered somewhat protected zones--protected from the “sins” of the general community. However, a recent report from CDC placed considerable attention on the resoundingly high rates of HIV infection among African American students attending predominately African American serving colleges and universities in North Carolina. In the “outside” world, data show that African Americans lead the nation in the rates of HIV/AIDS infections. This research turns on the light to view more clearly an oft-shielded group in an effort to identify and assess the exacerbating or ameliorating social forces that these campuses imbue. This project uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine how college age young adults attending HBCU’s respond to the pandemic / epidemic. In the general African American population typical intervention approaches have had little to no positive effects on reducing the persistently high rates of infection. An in-depth look is taken into the lived-experiences of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as it relates to their sexual risk taking in the age of HIV/AIDS.



Intersection Between Race, Gender, and Sexual Risk: Implications for STI/HIV on HBCU Campuses

Sinead N. Younge, Deidre Smith, Lawrence Young, Daphne Cole, Danielle Dickens, Lauren Reynolds, Raqiyah Dixon, Wilton Robinson, Porsche N. Buchanan  – pg. 37

There is a disproportionate incidence and prevalence rate of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among African Americans. HIV/AIDS is one of the leading cause of death among Blacks, aged 25-44. It is likely that many of these individuals contracted HIV while they were college aged. Black college students are an understudied group. The behaviors of college students in general, and the combination of environment and individual behaviors, warrants further investigation of sexual risk behaviors among Black college students. Furthermore, it is important to understand both the risk and protective factors that different environments may play. A substantial number of Black students attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which have purported to have protective affects on risk behaviors. This paper will give a cursory review of the sexual risk literature of Black college students and identify some of the risk and protective factors associated with HBCUs.


Promoting HIV Vaccine Research in African American Communities: Does the Theory of Reasoned Action Explain Potential Outcomes of Involvement?

Paula M. Frew, Matthew Archibald, Nina Martinez, Carlos del Rio, Mark J. Mulligan – pg. 61

The HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to challenge the African American community with disproportionate rates of infection, particularly among young women ages 25 to 34 years. Development of a preventive HIV vaccine may bring a substantial turning point in this health crisis. Engagement of the African American community is necessary to improve awareness of the effort and favorably influence attitudes and referent norms. The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) may be a useful framework for exploration of community engagement outcomes including future attendance, community mobilization, and study participation. Within the context of HIV vaccine outreach, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in early 2007 with 175 African-American adults (≥ 18 years). Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were performed and the findings support the potential of the model in understanding behavioral intentions toward HIV vaccine research.