Levels and predictors of HIV risk behavior among women in low-income public housing developments.
The prevalence of increases in human immunodeficiency virus infection and illness rates among urban disadvantaged women underscore the urgent need for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome prevention interventions for high-risk women. Few studies, however, have examined the factors contributing to risk in this population or predictors of risk taking and risk reduction. A total of 148 women, most of them of racial minorities, living in low-income public housing developments completed measures designed to assess risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection and to analyze factors related to risk taking, including knowledge about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, behavior change self-efficacy, intention to use condoms, and social norm perception about safer sex practices. History of sexually transmitted diseases, low rates of condom use, and relationships with men who were injection drug users or who were not sexually exclusive were commonly reported. Women were divided into high- or low-risk categories based on behavior during the two preceding months. Women at low risk believed more strongly in personal efficacy of behavior change, were more committed to using condoms, and perceived risk reduction steps as more socially normative than high-risk women. Culturally tailored human immunodeficiency virus prevention interventions that address these dimensions are needed.
Sikkema, KJ; Koob, JJ; Cargill, VC; Kelly, JA; Desiderato, LL; Roffman, RA; Norman, AD; Shabazz, M; Copeland, C; Winett, RA
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