Mobile Phone Apps for HIV Prevention Among College-aged Black Women in Atlanta: Preferences and Prototype Open Access

Tesema, Naomi (Spring 2020)

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Mobile apps can facilitate the innovative delivery of accurate human immunodeficiency virus and sexually transmitted infections (HIV/ STI) - related information. Most of the current research specific to HIV prevention delivered via mobile application (app) has focused on the most at-risk male population, MSM, but few have focused on at-risk women. To date, there are no HIV prevention interventions delivered via mobile app focused on vulnerable cis-gender Black women. This study's purpose is to gather data necessary to assess the preferences of Black women who attend college in the metro-Atlanta area regarding a reproductive health app. It is hypothesized that this subset of Black women are willing to use a new app not just for HIV prevention, but also will use an app to meet other reproductive health needs. This study was guided by the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) of Mass Communication, which postulates from the original SCT, four constructs (self-efficacy, the use of incentive motivation, social environment, and reciprocal determinism) that impact behavior, but adds that messaging to influence these behaviors can be effectively delivered through media or technological sources. Recruitment flyers directed eligible participants to a web-based survey. Additionally, separate focus group sessions asked Black, heterosexual women between the ages of 18-29 their perceptions of HIV content delivered via mobile app, healthcare, and healthcare delivery. Overall, 79.4% of respondents (27/34) reported willingness to use an app with PrEP content. Additionally, Black women who reported recent sexual activity reported being more likely to commit to boundaries with an app feature that provides them an at-home HIV testing kit than their non-sexually active counterparts. Focus Group discussions found that the target demographic found app content that was relevant, culturally competent, and easy to use as favorable. Black women in this sample are willing to use a new app for their reproductive health needs. Results were employed to develop a mobile app prototype and given the high levels of willingness to use them, more apps should be developed for this population.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Defining HIV



Preventative Efforts via PrEP

Prevalence of HIV in Black Women

Implications of Social Determinants on Black Women’s Perception of Sexual Health Care

The Intersection of Dating and Sexual Health

Atlanta: A Formidable Location for Targeted STI and HIV Interventions Targeting Black Women

Mobile Health Apps: Innovative Future Directions

Theoretical Frameworks

Research Objectives and Hypothesis

Chapter 3: Design and Methods

Sampling and Settings


Data Storage and Analysis

Chapter 4: Quantitative Results

Pearson Chi Square Tests

Chapter 5: Qualitative Results


Black Women’s Health Concerns

Where Health Information is Obtained

PrEP Knowledge

HIV Risk Assessment

Mobile Phone Usage

Unfavorable HIV App Features

Chapter 6: The Synthesis of Study Results into a Viable Prototype

Chapter 7: Discussion and Limitations



A)   Qualtrics Survey

B)    Focus Group Guide


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