HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among urban childbearing women

Katherine K Kinsey, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study was to describe and further explore the HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and beliefs (KAB) among urban childbearing women in the context of their personal and communal life. The increasing risk of HIV exposure, infection and AIDS disease in childbearing women, particularly those disadvantaged and residing in or near urban areas, has been an escalating concern of heath care workers. In this descriptive, cross-sectional study, the purposive sample consisted of 105 childbearing women between the ages of 15 to 40 years. Each was registered for care at a city prenatal health care center. Each participated in a personal interview, and completed survey and questionnaire instruments. Four focus groups were also conducted. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed to provide a reality base for practice and policy recommendations concerning HIV/AIDS prevention. Women with some college education had significantly higher HIV/AIDS general (widespread) knowledge scores $(p<.04)$ than women with less than a high school education. Women 20 years or older had significantly higher HIV/AIDS prevention belief scores $(p<.04)$ than did younger women; these women also asserted during interviews that they were more confident about personal relationships than their younger cohorts. The sample's KAB about HIV/AIDS was apparent during the study period, yet the majority of participants (70%) did not relate this information to their personal risk of contracting disease. Seventy-three percent did not consider condoms efficacious in disease prevention. Demographic data and the sample's health history clearly placed this group of childbearing women in a high risk category for contracting HIV/AIDS. Nearly 47% of the sample had a history of one or more STDs; 17% self reported a history of substance abuse. The sample's most influential source of HIV/AIDS information was a broadcast medium (television) but not televised public service announcements. Prior school based family life courses, provider shared information, and knowing someone with HIV/AIDS were not major information sources. Participants acknowledged their suspicions that non-minority health care workers did not fully inform them about the status of the epidemic in their community. These and other findings were used to generate public health practice, policy and future research recommendations involving this sample.

Subject Area

Nursing|Public health|Health education

Recommended Citation

Kinsey, Katherine K, "HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among urban childbearing women" (1992). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9308607.