Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Stauber

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Bryan


INTRODUCTION: Zika virus infection can cause severe health complications in pregnant women that include microcephaly and other congenital anomalies in the developing fetus. There is evidence that Zika virus can be spread through unprotected sex. Prevention is the only defense to protect pregnant women and their infants from Zika virus. What preventative behaviors these pregnant women take is most likely influenced by their concern about Zika virus. Little is known about the level of concern about Zika virus, and about preventative behaviors such as condom use, among pregnant women in Georgia.

AIM: The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of concern about Zika virus among women in Georgia with live birth in 2017 and to examine the frequency of condom use among sexually active respondents during their most recent pregnancy.

METHODS: This cross- sectional study used secondary data collected by Georgia Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System in 2017. Descriptive analyses were performed on variables of interest. Chi squared tests examined associations between level of concern about Zika virus and socio-demographic variables. A multivariable logistic regression model that controlled for age, education, race/ethnicity, marital status was used to examine the behavior of consistent condom use when having sex during pregnancy and Zika virus concern.

RESULTS: A total of 955 respondents (age range 18-45) completed the survey. Less than half of the women (n =418,47.4%) were concerned about Zika virus. The distribution of those that were concerned was different by race/ethnicity, level of education, age and marital status of women in Georgia with live birth in 2017. Less than 10% of Georgian women with recent live birth in 2017 consistently used condoms when having sex during pregnancy. Consistent use of condoms was mot associated with the level of concern of Zika virus. Among the women, those of Hispanic race/ethnicity were more likely to consistently use condoms during their most recent pregnancy (Adjusted Odds Ratio = 11.37; 95%CI: 3.95-32.81) when compared to Non-Hispanic white women, and this association was found to be statistically significant (p<0.0001).

CONCLUSION: Consistent use of condoms by sexually active women in Georgia during pregnancy appears to vary by race/ethnicity and relationship status and level of education of these women. Findings of this study point to opportunities for engagement on Zika virus awareness and help with refining risk messaging for prevention of Zika virus to pregnant women.


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