• Journal Article

The Role of Public Schools in HIV Prevention: Perspectives from African Americans in the Rural South

Citation

Lloyd, S., Ferguson, Y. O., Corbie-Smith, G., Ellison, A., Blumenthal, C., Council, B. J., ... Akers, A. (2012). The Role of Public Schools in HIV Prevention: Perspectives from African Americans in the Rural South. AIDS Education and Prevention, 24(1), 41-53. DOI: 10.1521/aeap.2012.24.1.41

Abstract

Though African-American youth in the South are at high risk for HIV infection, abstinence until marriage education continues to be the only option in some public schools. Using community-based participatory research methods, we conducted 11 focus groups with African-American adults and youth in a rural community in North Carolina with high rates of HIV infection with marked racial disparities. Focus group discussions explored participant views on contributors to the elevated rates of HIV and resources available to reduce transmission. Participants consistently identified the public schools' sex education policies and practices as major barriers toward preventing HIV infection among youth in their community. Ideas for decreasing youth's risk of HIV included public schools providing access to health services and sex education. Policymakers, school administrators, and other stakeholders should consider the public school setting as a place to provide HIV prevention education for youth in rural areas