, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1-13

HIV/STD Risk and Sexual Strategies Among Women Family Planning Clients in New York: Project FIO

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This report describes among 360 family planning clients in an HIV epicenter, women's HIV/STD risk characteristics, the barriers and facilitators of condom use within the context of relationships, and the use of alternative strategies for protection. Women attending the clinic were recruited for an HIV/STD preventive intervention and interviewed at baseline. At least 1 risk factor was reported by 77%, including a diagnosis of an STD within the last year for 30%. Recent STD diagnosis was associated with having a risky partner, but not with number of current partners. Women reporting consistent condom use had higher quality of couple communication, stronger intentions to prevent pregnancy, more positive reactions to condoms themselves and from their partners. Alternative risk reduction strategies, including using a barrier method other than condoms, refusing sex, engaging in nonpenetrative sex, leaving a relationship due to STD concerns, or undergoing mutual HIV testing had been used by 39% of women in the past 3 months.