Date of Award

5-1-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Lyle

Abstract

This study identified the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HTV) prevention and care service needs for HIV infected youth living in Georgia. It examined care service utilization of HIV positive youth ages 13 to 24 and their parents/guardians. It also appraised the perceived effectiveness of service delivery by AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Service Organization (ASO) as providers. The study reviewed the knowledge, attitude and behavior of both the HTV positive youths’ and their parent/guardian perceptions toward HIV/AIDS prevention and care service utilization in Georgia. It also examined the AIDS Service Organization’s (ASO) perception of the effectiveness of prevention and intervention service delivery. This study employed a mixed method exploratory research design inclusive of qualitative and quantitative data collection. Qualitative data were collected through twelve focus groups and in-depth individual interviews with a sample size of sixteen (16) HIV positive youth and thirteen (13) parents or guardians of those youth N = 29. Interviews were held in five cities in Georgia; Albany, Atlanta, Savannah, Stone Mountain and Augusta; from November 2006 to January 2007. To collect detailed quantitative data, a community services assessment, was mailed to approximately 607 provider organizations in the State of Georgia. The sampling frame for total provider survey was 125 (N = 125). The HTV positive youth’s perceived utilization of social support and medical services were analyzed in separate in person audio taped interviews from their perspective and from that of their parent/guardian. Social support services were operationalized by utilization of peer counseling and counseling for HTV services. Medical services operationalized by the utilization of primary HIV care services, mental health services and dental services. The need for more peer counselors and peer groups were common thematic findings throughout all of the youth and parent/guardian interviews. Providers perceived peer counseling services and condom distribution and training effective social support health care delivery for youth ages 13 to 24. Future studies examining the association between intergenerational needs of the HIV positive youth regarding care service utilization should be conducted.

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