Risk perception and beliefs regarding HIV infection among Ethiopian immigrants

AIDS Educ Prev. 2009 Oct;21(5):484-94. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2009.21.5.484.


In Ethiopia, approximately 7.5% of the urban population is HIV-positive, and countrywide 1.5 million people are living with HIV. Between 1990 and 2000, immigration into the United States by African-born immigrants increased by 130%. Of this immigrant population, individuals from Ethiopia make up a significant portion. Although there is a rich literature addressing the beliefs regarding HIV and risk perception among some immigrant populations in the United States, few studies target Ethiopian-born residents. Thus, a survey-based study addressing demographics, acculturation, awareness, beliefs and risk perception, attitudes toward susceptibility for infection, and risk behaviors targeted Ethiopian-born residents of San Diego, California. Results indicate a separation between understanding of HIV transmission and personal risk perception for infection in a young, highly educated, predominantly male participant pool. As an initial study of HIV beliefs and risk perception in the immigrant Ethiopian population, our results provide information on specific areas warranting further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Ethiopia / ethnology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires