HIV knowledge and attitudes among minority pregnant patients and their non-pregnant partners in an urban hospital clinic

Karolina Leziak, Carly M. Dahl, Jenise A. Jackson, Emily S. Miller, Lynn M. Yee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: HIV seroconversion during pregnancy disproportionately affects urban, minority pregnant individuals. In order to prevent perinatal HIV transmission, it is essential that individuals are aware of HIV risk factors and effective transmission prevention strategies are employed. Thus, we aimed to examine knowledge about HIV transmission and attitudes about HIV among low-income, minority pregnant individuals and their partners living in a high HIV prevalence area. Methods: In this qualitative study, pregnant participants were HIV-seronegative individuals receiving publicly-funded prenatal care in an urban academic center in the United States. Pregnant individuals and their partners were recruited to participate in a quality improvement program offering HIV testing to partners of pregnant people. Semi-structured guides were used to conduct individual interviews about participant sources of information about HIV, knowledge about transmission, and attitudes regarding those living with HIV. Transcripts were analyzed using the constant comparative method to determine themes and subthemes. Results: Of 51 participants, 29 were pregnant individuals and 22 were non-pregnant partners. We found that inaccurate knowledge about perinatal HIV transmission was prevalent. Sources of information about HIV included reputable literary information or educational experiences, broadcast media, and word-of-mouth sources. Participants held dichotomous perceptions of people living with HIV. Conclusions: Among low-income, minority pregnant people and their partners in a high HIV prevalence area, inaccuracies and lack of knowledge about HIV transmission were common. Efforts to educate pregnant individuals and their partners about HIV and perinatal HIV transmission should address common misconceptions and use popular sources of information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100656
JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • HIV
  • HIV attitudes
  • HIV knowledge
  • HIV perceptions
  • Perinatal HIV transmission
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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