Academic journal article The Western Journal of Black Studies

Relationship between Condom Use Knowledge and Condom Use among African-American Women in Harris County, Texas

Academic journal article The Western Journal of Black Studies

Relationship between Condom Use Knowledge and Condom Use among African-American Women in Harris County, Texas

Article excerpt

Introduction

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection continues to disproportionately affect African-American communities. While African-Americans represent only 18.5% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) of the 3,693,050 population in Harris County, TX. Harris County Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS), (2006) reported that 74% of the female HIV (13,382) cases in Harris County, Texas was among African-Americans. Unprotected heterosexual contact was the primary mode of transmission reported among African-American females (HDHHS, 2006). Consistent condom use can prevent the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is often the key component of HIV prevention efforts Friedman et al., 2001; Davis & Weller, 1999).

Several studies have examined whether condom use knowledge and condom use is an important predictor of condom use. For instance, Lindberg (2000) conducted a study with a sample of 100 urban women to test the relationship among condom use knowledge and condom use. It was concluded that condom use knowledge was indirectly related to condom use. Lazarus, Himedan, Ostergaard & Liljiatand (2006) explored knowledge with regards to HIV/AIDS and condom use among 192 Somali and Sudanese men and women immigrants in Denmark, aged 18-49, who lived in Denmark for one or more years. The participants completed a 78-item questionnaire. It was reported that less than 50% of both men and women scored more than 70% on the knowledge portion of the questionnaire. It was concluded that in the two Danish immigrant groups, condom use knowledge level and condom use were low. Women with poor educational level were reported to have low knowledge of condom use and low use of condoms compared to those women with a higher educational level (Lazarus, Himedan, Ostergaard & Liljiatand, 2006).

Promoting condom use has been a major goal of programs designed to prevent HIV infection (Roper, 1991). Recent studies have provided a great deal of information regarding condom use, but nearly all of these studies have been limited. They were restricted to a narrow age range or they had relatively small samples. In this study, results are presented from a self-administered questionnaire that targets a large sample of African-American women and assesses self-reported condom use. Our objective in this study was to determine if there was an association between condom use knowledge and self-reported condom use based on age, educational level, marital status and religious among African-American women ([greater than or equal to] 18 years of age) in Harris County, Texas.

METHODS

Participants

A convenience sample of 342 eligible women were chosen to participate in the study; 45 eligible women declined to participant in the study due to time constraints. To be eligible for the study, women had to be 1) African-American, 2) 18 years of age or older, 3) residents of Harris County, Texas and 4) able to understand and complete the questionnaire in English. Two hundred and ninety-seven African-American women ([greater than or equal to] 18 years of age) in Harris County, Texas participated in the study. Participants were recruited from a community center and a local health fair in Harris County, Texas from August-November 2007. These sites were selected based on the availability of the population; the time frame in which the study was conducted; and the large numbers of African-American women participating and or involved in the public congregations (churches, civic clubs, social clubs, community centers, health fairs and job fairs) in Harris County, Texas.

Procedures for Recruitment

This study was reviewed and approved by The Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas (UTH-SC-H). In order to disseminate information to prospective participants, letters were mailed summarizing the purpose of the study to the directors of the community center and the mall local health fair. …

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