Understanding How Neighborhood Racial Segregation and Income Inequality Affect the Acquisition of Sexually Transmitted Infections during Pregnancy

Aggie J. Noah, Pennsylvania State University
Wei-Lin Wang, Pennsylvania State University
Tse-Chuan Yang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy (STDDP) can have serious lasting and cumulative implications for both women and their children; reducing the gap in black-white racial disparity in the acquisition of STDDP is an important public health concern in the United States. Using 2012 population data from Pennsylvania and the 2009–2013 American Community Survey, we investigate the roles of residential racial segregation and income inequality for the black-white disparity in the acquisition of STDDP in a multilevel framework. The results indicate that incorporating neighborhood-level factors is important for understanding this disparity: racial segregation and income inequality are significantly associated with the odds of STDDP. Racial segregation moderates the relationships between race/ethnicity and the acquisition of STDDP: black mothers are less likely to acquire STDDP if they reside in neighborhoods that are more segregated from non-Hispanic whites. Mothers residing in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods have the highest odds of acquiring STDDP.

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Presented in Session 115: HIV and STIs: Context Matters