Innovative prevention strategies are critically needed to reduce the burden of persistent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted disease (STD) disparities among emerging black adults in the United States. Certain health information technology services called electronic personal health records (PHRs) enable remote access to the HIV/STD testing information which emerging black adults may share with sex partners during risk reduction discussions. Despite the critical preventative value of promoting sex partners to self-disclose their risk status, little is known about how emerging black adults perceive the utility of HIV/STD PHRs in risk reduction discussions with partners. Before understanding the full potential of HIV/STD PHRs to be an effective risk reduction tool it is important to first have a rich contextual understanding of the perceptions and consequences of its utilization. The study population of emerging adults consists of students at Morgan State University (MSU), a historically black university located in Baltimore City and designated as Maryland's urban research institute. To obtain a rich understanding of perceptions and intentions to use HIV/STD PHRs, the proposed research draws upon an Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction and Diffusion of Innovation theoretical framework. The proposed study employs exploratory mixed-methods;this is a two-phase research design that calls for a rich exploration of research questions with a small sample using qualitative research methods (i.e. focus groups and interviews) and then determining if qualitative findings are generalizable to a large sample using quantitative research methods (i.e. statistical analysis of online cross-sectional surveys). The proposed formative research is important to public health for many reasons: (1) Study results can inform the careful design of patient-centered PHR applications;potentially improving the delivery of HIV/STD preventative care;(2) Understanding theoretical constructs of behavior is an important aspect of strategic planning and allocating resources for health promotions;(3) Study findings may spur HIV/STD testing centers to evaluate the value of linking patients to HIV/STD PHR health services;and (4) Regional, state and federal health care incentive programs for increasing Health IT adoption and meaningful use may also find this study of great importance. This study will undoubtedly lead to future health care services and behavioral health sciences research on HIV/STD PHRs and prevention.
Black youth ages 15-24 years comprised approximately 15.5% of the U.S. population (ages 15-24 years) and accounted for 57.4% of HIV cases, 49.8% of chlamydia cases, 73.1% of gonorrhea cases, 67.9% of syphilis cases and the greatest seroprevalence of genital herpes in 2010 (CDC1, 2012;CDC, 2011;U.S Census Bureau, 2012). Certain health IT services called electronic personal health records (PHR) enables remote access to the HIV/STD testing information which emerging black adults may share with their sexual partners during risk reduction discussions (Sutton, 2011;Hou, S., 2009;and Thomas, P., 2008). The proposed study addresses the lack of research on the potential for HIV/STD electronic personal health records to be effective risk reduction tools and aid in reducing HIV/STD racial disparities.