Article

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 297-308

Psychosocial Profiles of Women with Risky Sexual Partners: The National AIDS Behavioral Surveys (NABS)

  • M. Margaret DolciniAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine and Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Joseph A. CataniaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine and Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco

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Abstract

Women represent one of the fastest growing groups of U.S. AIDS cases. This study examined women with risky male sexual partners drawn from a national/urban probability telephone sample. Our analyses use a matched control design to profile women with risky sexual partners and their male partners. We used the multifaceted model of HIV risk (MMOHR) as a framework for examining how women with risky partners differed from matched controls. Compared to matched controls, women with risky partners (n = 209) were young, poor, sexually unassertive, in troubled relationships, and were cognizant of their health risks. We found two distinct groups of women: women whose only risk was through their partner (single risk) and women who had additional risks of their own (multiple risk). Single-risk women were more conservative, more guilty about sex, and in traditional relationships. Interventions should build on women's recognition of their risk and focus on the relationships that support risky behavior.

women risky partners HIV/STDs risk behavior gender roles gender socialization