Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Billy Brooks

Committee Members

Megan Quinn, Jonathan Moorman



The administration of the COVID-19 vaccines has met with resistance and hesitance from different population groups including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). It is concerning to know that PLWHAs are showing a higher rate of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy than the general population. The objective of this study is to synthesize the literature and determine the correlates and predictors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among PLWHA using primary and secondary data.


A scoping review was conducted to identify and summarize studies on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among PLWHA using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) Extension for scoping reviews. For the secondary data, the Tennessee Department of Health HIV surveillance and COVID-19 immunization dataset was retrieved from the TDH partners and a questionnaire was developed and administered to PLWHA accessing care at the Ryan White HIV Center of Excellence in Johnson City for the primary data analysis.


There was a significant association between age group (p < 0.001), gender (p < 0.001), and region (p < 0.001) and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination. PLWHA between the ages 35-44, 45-54, and 55+ in Tennessee were 1.4, 1.8, and 2.8 times more likely more to take doses of COVID-19 vaccines respectively than those between the ages of 15-24 in the State. At the Ryan White clinic, regularity with HAART (p=0.039), uptake of at least one of the other essential vaccines for PLWHA (p=0.011), belief about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine (p< 0.001), and interference between the COVID-19 vaccine and HAART (p< 0.001) were significantly associated with the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination.


Efforts and strategies to improve the COVID-19 vaccine behavior of young PLWHA with social media-based vaccine education is imperative. Furthermore, the association between the regularity of HAART and the perception of the safety of the vaccine for PLWHA on COVID-19 vaccine uptake has implications for policy and intervention strategies.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, June 15, 2025