Economic and Social Barriers to HIV/AIDS Testing in African-American College Men

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Acheampong, Abenaa
Voorhees, Carolyn Clymer
The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, Vol. 3, 2011: 11-24.
In the United States currently, African-American men are now the subgroup in society to be disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS. Although African-Americans represent 13% of the population in the United States, they represent almost half of the one million people living with AIDS (Hall, 2005).Through this research one will gain a deeper understanding of why African-American college men are not getting tested for HIV/AIDS at higher rates. Using the Health Belief Model, this study aims to address what could be potential barriers to HIV/AIDS testing. Because the aim is to identify root issues on why African American men in college are not getting tested, the best method to use is a focus group. Questions were developed that addressed possible social and economic barriers to HIV/AIDS testing. Five participants were recruited specifically to participate in a focus group, which lasted about 50 minutes. Additionally, 25 surveys were administered to a sample of African American undergraduate men around campus. The survey consisted of short answers and multiple choice questions. The results suggested that social factors such as isolation, invincibility, and stigma may be the biggest barrier to HIV testing. The results also suggested that interventions targeted towards communication in intimate relationships and families were needed to promote safe-sex practice and ease the fear of social isolation.