Knowledge of HIV transmission risk behavior, and perceptions of risk among Haitian women living in Miami, Florida

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Lisa Marchette

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Robert Malow

Third Advisor's Name

Maria Lourdes Lizardo

Date of Defense



This study was conducted to gain a more comprehensive understanding of HIV risk among Haitian women. The variables measured were: knowledge of HIV transmission, sexual risk behaviors, and perceptions of risk among Haitian women. The sociocultural aspect of the Haitian women's lives with regard to their risky behaviors was also examined. A total of 101 Haitian women (aged 25-53) who attended two comprehensive health clinics were interviewed. A combined questionnaire derived from both the ARM-Q and the RBA was used. In general, the women had good knowledge of the sexual transmission of HIV I AIDS and indicated that they were susceptible to HIV infection. However, knowledge and perceptions of risk were not translated into sexual risk-reduction behaviors with their partners. Multiplicity of partners and low incidence of condom use were the two major sexual risk factors isolated in this study. Results indicate Haitian women were more likely to use condoms if they possessed greater HIV knowledge and their sexual partners held more positive attitudes toward using condoms. Also, Haitian women may have failed to protect themselves because behavior changes could have involved threats to their social and economic survival, relationships and culturally sanctioned roles. This suggests the need to include male partners in HIV prevention interventions with Haitian women. Future research should focus on preventing high-risk behavior by improving knowledge, altering the male partners' attitudes toward condoms, and enhancing communication and negotiation skills. Nursing implications and recommendations for culturally sensitive and relevant AIDS prevention efforts are discussed.




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