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Health Educ Q. 1993 Summer;20(2):261-73.

Barriers to human immunodeficiency virus related risk reduction among male street prostitutes.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans 70112.


Two hundred eleven male street prostitutes between the ages of 18 and 51 years were interviewed and tested for antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Economic, social, and emotional barriers to the reduction of HIV-related risk behavior were examined within the context of several concepts present in the Health Belief Model (HBM). Three lifestyle factors were found to function as barriers to engaging in risk reduction behavior. Subjects who were more economically dependent on prostitution, perceived less control over the hustling encounter, and reported increased pleasure from sexual activity with their customers were more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior. Prostitutes' perception of the severity of HIV infection was not significantly associated with their risk behavior. Unexpected findings indicated that increases in perceived susceptibility to HIV and perceived benefit of condom use for HIV prevention were significantly related to increased risk-taking behavior. Practical applications of findings in the design and implementation of future HIV-related preventive health education programs are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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