Children in African American Community at risk of the HIV/AIDS
Many African Americans are at high risk of the HIV infection and many of them are unaware or have a lack of access to care, education and prevention services. With African American’s making up fourteen percent of the population, they make up almost half of all people infected with HIV. According to, Exploring the Social and Community Context of African American Adolescents’ HIV Vulnerability (2013), African American communities bear the burden of disproportionately high rates of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) nationwide. Although African Americans represented only 14% of the U.S. population, they comprised 44% of new HIV cases in the United States in 2009 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2011). African American adolescents (ages 13 to 19 years) accounted for 69% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2010, though they represented only 15% of this age group population in the United States (CDC, 2012a). Research suggests that a complex set of factors, including individual, interpersonal, and environmental, put African American youth at higher risk for acquiring HIV (Lightfoot, A. F., Sparks, A., Turner, K., Griffith, T., Jackson, M., & Woods-Jaeger, B, 2013). High risk behavior is a leading factor in the African community in regards to HIV/AID, and African American adolescents are reported to be the highest prevalence engaging in sexual intercourse in comparison to other adolescent ethic groups. Although individual risk behavior is important in HIV transmission, it is not the only factor liable for HIV disparities among African American adolescence.
Youth, Socioeconomic/Behavioral Risk Factors, and prevention interventions
Youth. Adolescence is a critical time to promote healthy sexual behaviors; healthy behaviors established during adolescence are more likely to be sustained through adulthood. Culturally relevant interventions to reduce risky sexual behaviors remain one promising approach to reducing these impacts for African American youth. Multiple reviews have demonstrated that behavioral interventions shown to be most efficacious are culturally tailored and preceded by formative ethnographic research to inform intervention development. Successful behavioral interventions shown to reduce HIV risk behaviors typically focus narrowly on specific behaviors relevant to the target population, include clear messages about situations leading to risk behaviors, and describe methods to prevent these situations (Gloppen, K. M., Romero, L., Galbraith, J., & Wilson-Williams, L. 2010).
African American youth continue to be disproportionately represented in the incidence and prevalence of HIV despite numerous prevention efforts that target adolescent populations and declines in sexual risk behavior among youth in general during the last decade. Several studies examining individual-level behavioral factors have failed to explain...