Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Rothenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Dajun Dai

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: HIV disease is thought to be cluster in specific areas rather than be evenly distributed. A study to show a significantly higher HIV risk in certain geographical areas would be beneficial for resource allocation purposes. AIM: The purpose of this study is to describe the demographics of the study population, describe the demographics of those participants that tested HIV-positive, and determine the associations between zip code of residence, HIV infection, and risky behavior. METHODS: Data were collected by Georgia State University’s Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research for The Geography Project. Univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analyses were performed on select variables. A p-value of < 0.05 and a 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to determine significance. RESULTS: Participants in high risk groups zip codes were roughly 6.7 times more likely to have been given an HIV-positive result prior to the survey (OR=6.717, CI=1.989-22.683, p=.000), 4.4 times more likely to have been infected with HIV at the time of the survey (OR=4.402, CI=2.109-9.187, p=.000), and 1.4 times more likely to have more than 3 sex contacts in the 6 months prior to the survey (OR=1.425, CI=1.075-1.890, p=.014). The association between HIV and persons that identify as transgender was extremely significant (OR= 28.335, CI=8.305-96.678, p=.000). DISCUSSION: The results indicated that participants in the high risk zip codes group were at a higher risk for HIV infection and having 3 or more sex contacts in the 6 months prior to the interview.

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