AIDS knowledge, perception of risk, and behaviors among female sex partners of injection drug users

AIDS Educ Prev. 1991 Winter;3(4):353-66.


Interviews were conducted with 137 female sex partners of male injection drug users to provide quantitative and qualitative information regarding their AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and specific risk behaviors. Levels of knowledge regarding HIV transmission and prevention were high, with an average of 81.8% correct on a 16-item test. Most women (87.5%) believed that there was at least some chance they would become HIV infected. Substance abuse was prevalent; 67.2% used non-injection drugs (44.5% used crack cocaine), and 32.1% reported prior use of injection drugs. One fifth had engaged in prostitution. Although AIDS knowledge was high, almost all (94.9%) reported engaging in unprotected vaginal intercourse during the previous 6 months, and 6.6% reported anal intercourse without a condom. Among women who did not report consistent condom use, the most frequently stated reasons for non-use of condoms were dislike by their male partner (26.9%) and/or personal dislike of condoms (23.1%). A disturbing pattern of increased risk was observed among black interviewees, who were more likely than Latinas or whites to have contracted syphilis, have multiple sex partners, engage in prostitution, use crack cocaine, and drink alcohol daily.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / etiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Contraceptive Devices, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Whites / psychology