ResearchPublications

Ending the epidemic: Assessing sexual health communication, personal agency, and HIV stigma among Black and Latino youth in the U.S.
Abstract

Sexual health communication warrants greater attention as it may help to reduce the rates of HIV incidence among youth. A growing body of literature suggests that conversations about sexual health among Black and Latino youth may serve as a potential strategy for HIV prevention. The current study investigates whether sexual health communication-in particular, conversations about sexual health and HIV-influences Black and Latino youth’s personal agency regarding their role in achieving an HIV-free generation. For this secondary data analysis, we used the National Survey of Teens and Young Adults on attitudes towards HIV/AIDS (n = 701). Participants included youth between the ages 15 and 24, and the average was 20 years. We used a multiple regression analysis to examine whether sexual health communication contributed to youth knowledge and awareness of (1) the national plan for EHE, and (2) their role in ending the epidemic”. (1) knowledge and awareness of the national plan for EHE, and (2) role in ending the epidemic. The final multiple regression model was statistically significant [R(2) = 0.16 F (12, 701) = 001, p < 0.001] for both outcomes. Study results found that sexual health communication was positively related to Black and Latino youth’s awareness of efforts to end the HIV epidemic (EHE) and their belief that they could play a role in achieving EHE. In addition, HIV stigma influenced personal agency and whether youth were aware of efforts to achieve EHE. Our results demonstrated that openly communicating about sexual health and HIV may contribute to a sense of personal agency among Black and Latino youth. In addition, understanding whether sexual health communication contributes to a sense of personal agency among youth may inform HIV prevention efforts to achieve the goals set forth by the national EHE plan for the U.S.

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Full citation:
Keene L, Boyd D (2021).
Ending the epidemic: Assessing sexual health communication, personal agency, and HIV stigma among Black and Latino youth in the U.S.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (12), 6319. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18126319.