Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Prev Med. 1993 Mar-Apr;9(2):92-5.

Sexual risk and perception of risk for HIV infection among multiethnic family-planning clients.

Author information

  • 1Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco 94105.

Abstract

Little is known about the relationship among having risks for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, perceiving oneself at risk, and initiating risk reduction for young sexually active women. We surveyed a multiethnic sample of 267 young-adult female family planning clients attending Planned Parenthood clinics to determine these relationships. Perceiving oneself at risk was significantly associated with having sex outside of a primary relationship in the past year, with having five or more sexual partners in the last five years, and with having a primary partner who has other partners. We found no significant relationship between perceiving oneself at risk and adopting risk-reduction strategies, such as inquiring about a partner's risks or using condoms. These data suggest that the women in this population may be overly optimistic about their invulnerability to HIV. While those women who perceived themselves to be at risk for becoming sexually infected with HIV were more likely to report high-risk behaviors, perception of risk did not motivate these women to adopt low-risk behavior. These data suggest that simple HIV education and acknowledgement may have little effect on reducing exposure to HIV among the women in this population. Alternative strategies for reducing risk must be explored.

PIP:

A survey was made of 267 (40% white, 37% African-American, 10% Asian, 11% Latina, 2% other) 18-40 year old, female family planning clients attending Planned Parenthood clinics in San Francisco and Oakland, California, between June 1989 and October 1990. Survey questions included variables that have been associated with HIV risk, including perception of one's risk, sex with multiple partners, sex with high risk partners, sex with nonmonogamous partners, anal sex with primary and secondary partners, and condom use. Differences among ethnic groups in age, education, and associations between perception of risk for HIV infection and presence or absence of any reported risk factors, number of risk factors reported, and each of the protective behaviors were tested with the chi-square statistic. More than half the women reported having had a sexually transmitted disease (STD). African-American women were significantly more likely to report having had a STD compared with white women or the women of other ethnic backgrounds. 12% of the women reported that they always used condoms with their primary partners. Of them, 35% reported always using condoms in sex outside of primary relationships. Women reported screening their partners about their HIV risk history. This included asking potential partners about history of iv drug use (38%) and about their number of past sexual partners (54%). 40% of the women perceived themselves at risk for sexually transmitted HIV. Women who perceived that they were at risk were more likely to report having sex outside of a primary relationship in the past year, and to report having a primary partner who had other partners. No significant relationship between perceiving oneself at risk and engaging in any of the protective behaviors and no relationship between perceiving risk and condom use were found.

PMID:
8471276
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center