AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1430–1434 | Cite as

Gender Moderates the Association of Depressive Symptoms to Sexual Risk Behavior Among HIV-Positive African-American Outpatients

  • Jacklyn D. Babowitch
  • Peter A. Vanable
  • Michael P. Carey
Brief Report


Previous research has reported an association between depressive symptoms and sexual risk behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore whether gender moderates this association in a sample of HIV-positive African-Americans. Participants (N = 93) self-reported depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale; CES-D), and sexual risk behavior for the past 4 months. Analyses revealed that the depressive symptoms-by-gender interaction was associated with condomless sex and substance use proximal to sex. When analyses were stratified by gender, depressive symptoms were associated with condomless sex and frequency of substance use only for women. We conclude that depressive symptoms may be a more powerful sexual risk factor among women relative to men.


African-American Women HIV Depressive symptoms Sexual risk 



This study was funded by NIMH Grant R21-MH65865, awarded to Peter Vanable.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Jacklyn Babowitch declares that she has no conflict of interest. Peter A. Vanable declares that he has no conflict of interest. Michael P. Carey declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacklyn D. Babowitch
    • 1
  • Peter A. Vanable
    • 1
  • Michael P. Carey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital and Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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