This study applies the information-motivation-behavioral skills (IMB) model to explore the perception of HIV/AIDS among students attending a hstorically black college and university (HBCU) and the socio-cognitive factors that influence safe sex practices among these students. A convenient sample of college students attending a HBCU in the South-eastern United States was surveyed. Exploratory factor analysis generated a seven-dimensional final solution structure from the 41-item survey instrument. Frequency distribution of the students’ HIV prevention information, HIV prevention motivation and AIDS prevention behavioral skills latent constructs was estimated. Multiple regression analysis of predictive influence of the constructs on the college students’ willingness to practice safe sex was performed. The study found that most of the students surveyed are knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS transmission modes, understanding of the risk behavior associated with HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS prevention behavior, willing to associate with HIV infected persons, interested in participating in HIV/AIDS education. This finding is consistent with previous research on college students’ socio-cognitive perception of HIV/AIDS. However, regression analysis showed that academic class, willingness to associate with HIV/AID infected person (stigmatization), interest in HIV/AIDS education, understanding of HIV/AIDS risk behaviors and knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission modes are significant predictors of the HBCU students’ willingness (or intention) to practice safe sex.
Key words: HIV/AIDS knowledge, HIV/AIDS prevention, HIV/AIDS education, safe sex behavior, HIV/AIDS perception, factor analysis, multiple regression analysis, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).
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