HIV Risk Behaviors among Women Living in Low-Income, Inner-City Housing Developments

Sikkema, Kathleen J.; Heckman, Timothy G.; Kelly, Jeffrey A.; Anderson, Eileen S.; Winett, Richard A.; Solomon, Laura J.; Wagstaff, David A.; Roffman, Roger A.; Perry, Melissa J.; Cargill, Victoria; Crumble, Denise A.; Fuqua, R. Wayne; Norman, Ann D.; Mercer, Mary Beth
August 1996
American Journal of Public Health;Aug1996 Part 1 of 2, Vol. 86 Issue 8, p1123
Academic Journal
Objectives. This study describes the prevalence and predictors of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviors among women living in low-income, inner-city housing developments. Methods. Anonymous questionnaires were administered to 671 women living in 10 inner-city, low-income housing developments in five US cities to determine their levels of HIV risk behavior and predictors of HIV risk practices. Results. Approximately one third of women were at high risk for HIV because of the risk behavior of their sexual partners. HIV risk was highest among women who accurately perceived themselves to be at increased HIV risk, held strong beliefs about barriers to condom use, and reported weak behavioral intentions to reduce risk. Women at higher risk were also younger and reported higher rates of alcohol and substance use. Conclusions. HIV prevention efforts are needed for inner-city women. Interventions should focus on overcoming women s barriers to condom use, strengthening their intentions to change behaviors, and managing the risk related to their use of substances.


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