Women Who Know: The Relationship Between Gender, Risk, Race, and HIV Testing
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My main focus of interest in this dissertation is to evaluate the relationship between known risk factor for HIV and HIV testing behavior, with a particular interest in women. Utilizing data from the National Survey of Family Growth, I conduct both descriptive and logistic regression analysis to evaluate this relationship. In addition to examining this relationship for women overall, I also evaluate the differences between White and Minority women, and compare and contrast this relationship for men versus women. In this dissertation, I did find some evidence to indicate that women with factors that put them at risk for HIV are more likely to be tested than are women without risk, however the strength of this relationship differed across types of risk factors. Drug use was consistently stronger in predicting the likelihood of testing than were sexual risk factors, indicating a ?lag? in public health perception of risk due to heterosexual risk factors. I also found that African-American women had significantly higher prevalence of risk than did White women, although no difference was found in the relationship between risk and testing. Finally, sexual risk factors were a substantially stronger predictor of testing for men than it was for women. The findings reported in this dissertation have the potential for significant public health implications and indicate the need for further policies that target the populations identified in this research. While the evidence in this dissertation and elsewhere does suggest that these efforts have been successful for homosexual men and drug users, and marginally successful for women at risk due to heterosexual behavior, it is important that efforts that target women, especially African-American women, are increased.
Howden, Lindsay M. (2010). Women Who Know: The Relationship Between Gender, Risk, Race, and HIV Testing. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from