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J Natl Med Assoc. 2000 Aug; 92(8): 391–404.
PMCID: PMC2608615

Correlates of HIV risk-taking behaviors among African-American college students: the effect of HIV knowledge, motivation, and behavioral skills.


This study identifies theoretically based predictors of condom use in a sample of 253 sexually active African-American college students recruited from two historically African-American colleges. The Information-Motivation-Behavioral (IMB) skills model of AIDS-preventive behavior was employed to delineate the roles of HIV/AIDS knowledge, experiences with and attitudes toward condom use, peer influences, perceived vulnerability, monogamy, and behavioral skills. A predictive structural equation model revealed significant predictors of more condom use including: male gender, more sexual HIV knowledge, positive experiences and attitudes about condom use, nonmonogamy, and greater behavioral skills. Results imply that attention to behavioral skills for negotiating safer sex and training in the proper use of condoms are key elements in reducing high risk behaviors. Increasing the specific knowledge level of college students regarding the subtleties of sexual transmission of HIV is important and should be addressed. Heightening students' awareness of the limited protection of serial monogamy, and the need to address gender-specific training regarding required behavior change to reduce transmission of HIV should be an additional goal of college health professionals.

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