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AIDS Educ Prev. 2005 Jun;17(3):238-52.

Aiming for more relevant HIV risk reduction: a black feminist perspective for enhancing HIV intervention for low-income African American women.

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  • 1ORC Macro, Inc., Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine how various living conditions impact the context within which low-income African American women engage in a diverse range of high-risk behavior that increases their risk for HIV infection. The study, based on 2 years of ethnographic fieldwork, analyzed the living conditions of 45 African American women at risk for HIV infection in a high-risk neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. A black feminist perspective guided the study's analytical framework as a way to extend knowledge about the social conditions, the social interactions, and the meaning of high-risk behavior in the lives of African American women. Using black feminist theory and the constant comparison method, two groups emerged: "street" women and "house" women. Street women were defined as the absolute homeless, the rooming housed, and the hustling homeless. House women were defined as the family housed, the heads of household, and the steady-partner housed. Results reveal that various types of living arrangements place women at risk in different ways and suggest that low-income African American women at high risk for HIV infection-a group often considered homogeneous-have unique "within group" needs that must be addressed in HIV prevention intervention research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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