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Exploring Perceptions of Health Needs Among Young African American Men

Exploring Perceptions of Health Needs Among Young African American Men

Abstract

Recent recommendations advocate involving young men in reproductive health programs. We know little about how young men perceive their reproductive health needs. For this study, 47 African American young men (mean age, 17.9 years) recruited from four community-based organizations completed a brief survey to explore life priorities and perceptions of health needs across 12 to 14, 15 to 19, and 20 to 25-year-olds. Participants’ life priorities varied by age group with overall top categories, including education, economics, and family members. Health was listed as a salient life priority among older participants aged 15 to 25 years, though it was not highly ranked. Participants’ top health concerns included sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, with limited mention of other reproductive health concerns. Understanding where young men start from when thinking about reproductive health can better help us meet their needs. Future studies warrant examining how health needs change over time among a larger and more diverse sample of young men.
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