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AIDS Care. 1999 Aug;11(4):415-27.

Psychological and social correlates of high-risk sexual behaviour among men and women living with HIV/AIDS.

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Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR), Medical College of Wisconsin 53226, USA.


Men and women living with HIV/AIDS who experience difficulty maintaining safer sex practices place their sex partners as well as themselves at considerable risk for sexually transmitted infections. Psychological correlates of continued sexual risk behaviours provide important information for intervention development. Continued sexual risk behaviour was investigated in a sample of 203 HIV-positive men and 129 HIV-positive women recruited from infectious disease clinics and AIDS service agencies. The study showed that 42% of men and 42% of women reported at least one occasion of unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse in the preceding six months. Unprotected intercourse frequently occurred outside of long-term relationships and with partners who were not known to be HIV-infected. Similar to populations at primary risk, HIV-infected men and women reported alcohol and drug use, including use before sexual episodes. However, the association between substance use and unprotected sex was modest for men and absent for women. Contrary to previous research, emotional distress and maladaptive coping were not related to continued sexual risk. Interventions are urgently needed to support men and women living with HIV/AIDS in maintaining long-term safer sex practices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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