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Open AccessArticle

“I Actually Don’t Know What HIV Is”: A Mixed Methods Analysis of College Students’ HIV Literacy

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Department of Health Science and Human Ecology, California State University, San Bernardino 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407, USA
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Department of Health Science and Human Ecology, Center for Health Equity, California State University, San Bernardino 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino, CA 92407, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases8010001 (registering DOI)
Received: 28 November 2019 / Revised: 29 December 2019 / Accepted: 30 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
Objective: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a major public health issue with young adults facing a disproportionately higher rate of the burden. Our goal was to address the current literacy related to HIV, including biomedical prevention methods and barriers to care, such as cultural factors, from a sample of college students. Methods: We conducted a convergent parallel mixed methods analysis where both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed separately. A thematic analysis was conducted to assess qualitative results, while descriptive statistics were conducted to assess quantitative survey results. Results: HIV literacy was limited, with several participants reporting that they did not understand what HIV meant. While the majority knew the use of condoms, knowledge of other biomedical prevention methods was limited, as was the understanding the risk factors of HIV, with participants noting sharing a toilet seat and promiscuity as risk factors. Self-efficacy for HIV prevention was low among participants with many reporting that cultural barriers prevented discussion of risky behaviors and prevention methods in their families and social groups. Conclusion: Targeted, culturally sensitive, health education initiatives are needed to understand the high, low, or no risks of HIV as well as address stigmas related to HIV. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV; literacy; prevention; STIs; college students; self-efficacy; knowledge; attitude HIV; literacy; prevention; STIs; college students; self-efficacy; knowledge; attitude
MDPI and ACS Style

Avina, R.M.; Mullen, M.; Mshigeni, S.; Becerra, M.B. “I Actually Don’t Know What HIV Is”: A Mixed Methods Analysis of College Students’ HIV Literacy. Diseases 2020, 8, 1.

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