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J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 Jun;89(6):397-403.

A comparison of AIDS-related sexual risk behaviors among African-American college students.

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Department of Sociology, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia 30314, USA.


This article compares the sexual practices and risk-taking behaviors of African-American male and female college students (n = 649) attending 4-year institutions in a major southeastern metropolitan area. It is a descriptive study of the kinds of practices that put African-American college students at a high risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Overall, the reported practices indicate that the college students studied are exposed to risk by certain sexual behaviors, with males reporting significantly higher frequency of risk behaviors than females. The percentages of male students reporting they engage in an array of risky sexual practices (including sex without condoms and anal intercourse) suggest the invulnerability to HIV apparently perceived by this group. Although the students overall adhere to some HIV-preventive behaviors, they also violate important HIV prevention practices. The findings illuminate the need for designing and conveying messages for African-American college students, and particularly for males, that impress the realities of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as an indiscriminant disease on this group.

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