Project Title

Investigation of the Role Adverse Childhood Experiences and Low-Income Have on HIV Testing Among Adults in Tennessee

Authors' Affiliations

Elaine Loudermilk, DrPH(c), MPH, Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University Megan Quinn, DrPH, MSc, Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University Shimin Zheng, PhD, Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Biostatistics & Epidemiology

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Shimin Zheng

Additional Sponsors

Megan Quinn, Shimin Zheng, Rob Pack, Jonathan Moorman

Type

Oral Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Behavioral or Social Studies

Abstract Text

Introduction Tennessee (TN) ranked 16th among US states for the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015. By TN grand division region (East, Middle, and West), the highest rate of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) were in the Middle and West. Barriers to HIV testing are still very much unknown in research studies. Further, understanding how Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) play a role in HIV testing and specifically in marginalized groups is not fully understood. The present study sought to understand the relationship between ACEs, living in poverty, and testing for HIV among adults in Tennessee.

Methods Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for 2016 and 2017 were obtained from the Tennessee Department of Health. Sociodemographic factors, diagnosis of depression, binge drinking behaviors, HIV risk behaviors (one or more of these in the past year: injection drug use, anal sex, sex without a condom, paid sex, four or more sexual partners), grand division, poverty level, and ACEs were analyzed to determine if an association exists with having been tested for HIV in the past year (yes or no). ACEs were categorized into 0, one to three, or four or more, all having occurred before the age of 18. Frequencies, percents, chi-square, and independent T-tests were completed. Sex stratified simple and multiple logistic regression models were conducted to determine the strength of association with having been tested for HIV (N=1,506 males; N=1,433 females).

Results Males who reported HIV risk behaviors were 46% less likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.53-0.55) whereas females with HIV risk behaviors were 61% less likely to test for HIV (aOR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.39-0.40) compared to those without HIV risk behaviors. Males with 4 or more ACEs were 38% more likely to be tested for HIV compared to males with 0 ACEs (aOR: 1.38, 95% CI 1.36-1.39), whereas females with 4 or more ACEs were two times more likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 2.09, 95% CI: 2.07-2.11) compared to females with 0 ACEs. Males making <$25,000 annually were only 5% more likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.04-1.06), whereas women making the same income were 30% less likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 0.70, 05% CI: 0.69-0.71) compared to incomes greater than $25,000. Males in West TN were 12% less likely to be tested for HIV compared to males in East TN (aOR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.87-0.89). Similarly, females in West TN were 15% less likely to be tested for HIV compared to females in East TN (aOR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.84-0.86).

Conclusion Education and awareness may be too focused on adults with more ACEs rather than ensuring individuals with HIV risk behaviors, living in poverty, or residing in West TN, understand their risk and have access to HIV testing. Regions of TN, specifically West TN compared to East TN, may require additional resources to ensure the general population understands their risk for HIV; however further research is warranted through longitudinal studies.

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Investigation of the Role Adverse Childhood Experiences and Low-Income Have on HIV Testing Among Adults in Tennessee

Introduction Tennessee (TN) ranked 16th among US states for the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015. By TN grand division region (East, Middle, and West), the highest rate of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) were in the Middle and West. Barriers to HIV testing are still very much unknown in research studies. Further, understanding how Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) play a role in HIV testing and specifically in marginalized groups is not fully understood. The present study sought to understand the relationship between ACEs, living in poverty, and testing for HIV among adults in Tennessee.

Methods Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for 2016 and 2017 were obtained from the Tennessee Department of Health. Sociodemographic factors, diagnosis of depression, binge drinking behaviors, HIV risk behaviors (one or more of these in the past year: injection drug use, anal sex, sex without a condom, paid sex, four or more sexual partners), grand division, poverty level, and ACEs were analyzed to determine if an association exists with having been tested for HIV in the past year (yes or no). ACEs were categorized into 0, one to three, or four or more, all having occurred before the age of 18. Frequencies, percents, chi-square, and independent T-tests were completed. Sex stratified simple and multiple logistic regression models were conducted to determine the strength of association with having been tested for HIV (N=1,506 males; N=1,433 females).

Results Males who reported HIV risk behaviors were 46% less likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.53-0.55) whereas females with HIV risk behaviors were 61% less likely to test for HIV (aOR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.39-0.40) compared to those without HIV risk behaviors. Males with 4 or more ACEs were 38% more likely to be tested for HIV compared to males with 0 ACEs (aOR: 1.38, 95% CI 1.36-1.39), whereas females with 4 or more ACEs were two times more likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 2.09, 95% CI: 2.07-2.11) compared to females with 0 ACEs. Males making <$25,000 annually were only 5% more likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.04-1.06), whereas women making the same income were 30% less likely to be tested for HIV (aOR: 0.70, 05% CI: 0.69-0.71) compared to incomes greater than $25,000. Males in West TN were 12% less likely to be tested for HIV compared to males in East TN (aOR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.87-0.89). Similarly, females in West TN were 15% less likely to be tested for HIV compared to females in East TN (aOR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.84-0.86).

Conclusion Education and awareness may be too focused on adults with more ACEs rather than ensuring individuals with HIV risk behaviors, living in poverty, or residing in West TN, understand their risk and have access to HIV testing. Regions of TN, specifically West TN compared to East TN, may require additional resources to ensure the general population understands their risk for HIV; however further research is warranted through longitudinal studies.