Beliefs that Condoms Reduce Sexual Pleasure—Gender Differences in Correlates Among Heterosexual HIV-Positive Injection Drug Users (IDUs)
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Studies consistently find that negative condom beliefs or attitudes are significantly associated with less condom use in various populations, including HIV-positive injection drug users (IDUs). As part of efforts to reduce sexual risk among HIV-positive IDUs, one of the goals of HIV interventions should be the promotion of positive condom beliefs. In this paper we sought to identify the correlates of negative condom beliefs and examined whether such correlates varied by gender, using a subsample (those with an opposite-sex main partner; n = 348) of baseline data collected as part of a randomized controlled study of HIV-positive IDUs. In multivariate analyses, we found more significant correlates for women than for men. With men, perception that their sex partner is not supportive of condom use (negative partner norm) was the only significant correlate (Beta = −0.30; p < 0.01; R2 = 0.18). Among women, negative partner norm (Beta = −0.18; p < 0.05); having less knowledge about HIV, STD, and hepatitis (Beta = −0.16; p < 0.05); lower self-efficacy for using a condom (Beta = −0.40; p < 0.01); and more episodes of partner violence (Beta = 0.15; p < 0.05) were significantly associated with negative condom beliefs (R2 = 0.36). These findings suggest important gender-specific factors to consider in interventions that seek to promote positive condom beliefs among HIV-positive IDUs.