From February 2006 through January 2007, 1,230 students were surveyed from 24 HBCUs; 179 surveys with incomplete or inconsistent responses were excluded from this analysis, leaving 1,051 surveys (85.4%) from 20 HBCUs that were analyzable. One school had an unidentified school type. The other 19 HBCUs with available school type data included the following: urban/public (n=2), urban/private (n=6), rural/public (n=6), and rural/private (n=5). Completed surveys were distributed across the HBCU types as follows: urban/public (n=152, 14%), urban/private (n=241, 25%), rural/public (n=334, 32%), rural/private (n=241, or 23%), and unidentified school type (n=83, 8%).
summarizes the demographic and behavioral characteristics of the participating students. Fifty-one percent of respondents were female, 76% were aged 18–21 years, and 57% were in their first two years of college. The majority of students were enrolled full-time (98%), resided in on-campus housing (75%), and had parents or guardians who had completed some college or a bachelor's degree (mothers of students = 56% and fathers of students = 41%). Thirty-eight percent had been tested for HIV in the previous six months, and 56% had ever been tested for HIV outside of blood donations. Seventy-three percent of respondents were aware of HIV testing services in their local community. Eighty-one percent (847/1,051) of students attended an HBCU with HIV testing services on campus; 67% (564/847) of those students reported being aware of on-campus HIV testing services. Of male student respondents, 282/459 (61%) had two or more sex partners in the previous 12 months. Of female student respondents, 228/519 (44%) reported having two or more sex partners in the previous 12 months (). Of students reporting two or more sex partners in the previous 12 months, 64% had not used a condom at last sex encounter (data not shown).
Demographic and behavioral characteristics of African American students surveyed at 20 participating historically black colleges and universities, February 2006–January 2007a
Demographic and behavioral characteristics associated with average or high knowledge of HIV risk among African American students surveyed at 24 participating historically black colleges and universities, February 2006–January 2007 (n=1,051)a
Eighty-two percent (n=860) of students had an average/high knowledge score of HIV risk. Several demographic and behavioral characteristics were associated with having an average/high HIV knowledge score (). Having an average/high knowledge of HIV risk was more likely among females compared with males (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.2, 2.3); students who resided in off-campus, non-school housing compared with students who resided in on-campus housing (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.1, 2.7); and students who had never used a needle to inject drugs compared with those who had ever used intravenous drugs in the past (OR=6.5, 95% CI 3.8, 11.2). An average/high HIV/AIDS knowledge score was also more likely among students who considered themselves at low risk for HIV when compared with the average college student (OR=1.8, 95% CI 1.3, 2.5), and approached significance among students who worked part-time (OR=1.4, 95% CI 1.0, 2.0) and students who considered themselves at low risk for HIV based on past and present behavior (OR=1.5, 95% CI 1.0, 2.1).
An average/high HIV/AIDS knowledge score was also more likely among students who assessed potential partners' HIV risk by (1) asking about past sexual activities (OR=4.2, 95% CI 3.9, 6.1), (2) asking about past injection drug use (OR=2.4, 95% CI 1.7, 3.5), (3) assessing their physical appearance/personal hygiene (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.1, 2.2), (4) asking others if he/she sleeps around (OR=2.1, 95% CI 1.5, 3.0), and (5) asking them to reveal whether or not they were HIV-positive (OR=2.8, 95% CI 1.5, 3.0). An average/high HIV/AIDS knowledge score was unlikely among students who worked full-time (OR=0.6, 95% CI 0.4, 1.0). In the final model, significant independent effects were identified for average/high knowledge of HIV risk, including agreeing with assessing a potential partner's HIV risk by all of the five actions listed (AOR=2.7, 95% CI 1.7, 4.3) and never using a needle to inject drugs (AOR=5.6, 95% CI 3.2, 9.7) (data now shown).
Of note, there were no significant differences in student HIV knowledge scores based on type of HBCU school setting. Also, there were no significant differences in whether or not someone had been tested for HIV in the previous six months based on average/high vs. low knowledge of HIV risk. When data were reviewed for males, there were no significant differences in HIV knowledge scores based on number or type of sex partners. A similar result was seen for females: no significant differences in HIV knowledge scores were noted based on number or type of sex partners ().