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Keywords

African Americans; AIDS (Disease) – Prevention; Community-based organizations; Geospatial analysis; GIS; Health promotion; HIV infections – Prevention; HIV prevention services; Racial/ethnic minorities; Rural populations; Southern states; United States

Abstract

Given the increase in HIV/AIDS infection rates among racial and ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans, this study was undertaken as part of a larger research effort to examine the distribution of HIV prevention services focusing on African American populations within the United States. Data were gathered via a national survey of community-based organizations (CBOs) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A geocoded national database was constructed to identify, locate, and map these HIV prevention programs. A total of 1,020 CBOs responded to the survey, yielding a response rate of 70.3%. These CBOs administered a total of 3,028 HIV prevention programs. Data describing intervention types and persons served, combined with the address and service area of responding CBOs, were integrated with census data (2000) and analyzed by using a geographic information system (GIS). The results of our national level analysis show that HIV prevention services for African Americans have fair coverage where African Americans comprise a substantial proportion of the population in urban areas in northeastern states, but that HIV prevention services for African Americans are inadequately distributed in the southeastern states. A local-level analysis was conducted for Alabama, where 68% of HIV/AIDS cases are among African Americans. Specific interventions such as street and community outreach, health communications, and public information are fairly well provided to African Americans in more urban cities in Alabama, however, individual- and group-level interventions have poor coverage in rural areas where a large percentage of African-Americans live. Overall, our study illustrates that the use of GIS adds value when used with other data sources to provide prevention services that are accessible to the populations most in need.