Intergenerational Dialogue About Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Among African American Women in Rural Mississippi
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ABSTRACT Intergenerational Dialogue About Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Among African American Women in Rural Mississippi Gayle Robinson The purpose of the study was to explore perceptions of intergenerational dialogue (IGD) among African American women and to investigate whether IGDs about sexual health and HIV prevention could be an effective cultural medium to discuss and communicate HIV prevention strategies. The motivation was to find a culturally appropriate process that would contribute to preventing HIV infections among present and future generations of African American women. This study explored the extent to which African American women in rural Scott County, Mississippi considered IGD as having the potential to decrease the transmission of HIV. This is important because of the ongoing mortality and morbidity of African American women due to HIV. The study sample included 30 African American women aged 18 to 80 who were recruited within the town of Forest, in Scott County, Mississippi (MS). In-depth, semi-structured interviews were audio recorded and transcribed into text for this qualitative study. The data analysis was conducted using conventional content analysis. Research results indicate that IGD is occurring. However, dialogues about sexual health and HIV prevention occur less frequently than dialogues in which more general topics are discussed. My findings also show that key features of an IGD are influenced by the nature and quality of the relationship among the individuals engaged in the dialogue. How the IGD participants relate to each other controls what is talked about in terms of sexual health and HIV prevention. Finally, my research results illustrate that topics related to sexual health and HIV prevention are often raised in the context of discussions on risk of pregnancy, risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, and the consequences of other personal choices.
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