HIV risk behaviors among inner-city African American women.
This study examined the prevalence and predictors of HIV risk behaviors among a sample of 875 low-income, African American women residents of inner-city housing developments. The women completed an anonymous questionnaire that revealed that one third of them were at high risk for HIV either because they had multiple partners or because of the high-risk behaviors of their regular partner. HIV risk was highest among women who accurately perceived themselves to be at increased HIV risk, reported weak behavioral intentions to reduce risk, and held stronger beliefs about psychosocial barriers to condom use. Women at high risk were also younger, reported higher rates of substance use, and indicated that their housing development lacked social cohesiveness. These findings suggest that HIV prevention efforts for this population should focus on strengthening women's risk reduction behavioral intentions and self-efficacy through skill development, overcoming psychosocial barriers to condom use, managing the risk related to substance use, and incorporating approaches that take into account the social, psychological, and relationship barriers to change among economically impoverished African American women.
Sikkema, KJ; Heckman, TG; Kelly, JA
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