This study examines factors predicting the context of HIV related sexual behaviors in a random, community sample of 227 African American single and married women, ages 18 to 50. Structural equation models tested associations between women's past sexual histories, relationship factors, and risks for unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, as well as risk reduction efforts since Magic Johnson's HIV disclosure. Sexual communication and past sexual experiences, most notably histories of STDs, physical, and sexual abuse, were significantly associated with increased HIV related sexual risk taking. Magic Johnson's HIV disclosure increased protective behaviors. Results suggest that a more comprehensive assessment of past victimization and cultural factors influencing women's behavior to reduce risks is needed in HIV prevention programs for African American women. The need for specific knowledge about women's sexuality and relationship risks beyond what currently is being offered in prevention programs is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health