Preparing social workers to address HIV/AIDS prevention and detection: Implications for professional training and education

Michael S. Wolf*, Christopher G. Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The social work profession remains an untapped resource within the community for addressing HIV/AIDS prevention and early detection. This study investigated social workers' knowledge and practices relating to HIV prevention education, risk assessment, and case finding. A six page questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 600 licensed social workers and licensed clinical social workers in Illinois. The sample was drawn from a list provided by the state department of professional regulation, stratified by geographic location. The final response rate for the survey was 51.3% (N = 308). Social work knowledge concerning HIV and AIDS was significantly related to the variables of age, geographic location, and practice setting. Respondents scored lower on knowledge items pertaining to their ability to perform a comprehensive sexual and drug risk assessment and to appropriately advise clients on HIV antibody testing. Most of the social workers in the sample provided minimal to no HIV-related services in their clinical practice. HIV-related behaviors were also significantly related to the variables of age, geographic location, and practice setting. Multiple logistic regression was used to test whether prior HIV/AIDS training predicted the presence of HIV-related practice behaviors, controlling for potential confounding factors. Both prior HIV-related training and education and prior work experience with HIV-infected clients were statistically significant and independent predictors of current HIV-related practice behaviors reported by social workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

Keywords

  • Detection
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Knowledge
  • Prevention
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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