Abstract

Although studies have consistently demonstrated that women at high risk for HIV and non-HIV sexually transmitted infections (STIs) tend to underestimate their individual risk, little is known about how women at risk perceive their community’s HIV/STI risk. We explored perceptions of community HIV/STI risk among U.S. women living in areas with high poverty and HIV prevalence rates as part of a qualitative substudy of the Women’s HIV SeroIncidence Study. Semi-structured focus groups were conducted. Data were coded and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Participants expressed the perception that their communities were at elevated HIV/STI risk, mostly due to contextual and structural factors such as lack of access to health care and education. Findings suggest that HIV prevention messages that target U.S. women at high risk for HIV may be strengthened by addressing the high perceived community HIV/STI risk driven by structural factors.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-6869
Print ISSN
1049-2089
Pages
pp. 811-823
Launched on MUSE
2015-08-27
Open Access
No
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