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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2005 May;26(4):359-77.

Perceptions of HIV risks and prevention strategies by rural and small city African Americans who use cocaine: views from the inside.

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University of Central Florida, School of Nursing, College of Health and Public Affairs, Orlando, Florida 32816-2210, USA.


HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects African Americans, yet knowledge gaps exist regarding their views of risks and effective prevention strategies. This focus group study of rural and small city African Americans who use drugs sought to assess these perceptions. Common views of HIV risks included drug use, physical appearance as an indicator of HIV status, intentional transmission, having multiple partners, unprotected sex, bisexuality, and unfounded trust. Trading sex for drugs and unprotected sex when high were seen as drug use/HIV risk links, while HIV education and condom use were identified as ways to decrease risk. Perceptions of effective strategies included community-based programs, gender specific groups, providing food or other incentives, and making the program fun. Healthcare professionals and parents were viewed as the best people to promote HIV prevention. Based on the findings, effective intervention for this target group should encompass ethnocentric community-based strategies that focus on HIV education, condom use skills, and drug risk reduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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