As STD infections including HIV increase in the United States, it has become increasingly important to policy makers to ascertain the extent to which knowledge and perceptions of AIDS risk affect an individual's probability of altering their sexual or contraceptive behavior to avoid infection. This paper examines the extent to which women's perceptions of their own and their partners' risk of HIV infection affects the probability of using a condom for protection against sexually transmitted diseases. This paper also examines the extent to which HIV testing may affect motivation for condom use. Crosstabulations reveal that prophylactic condom use is more prevalent among women who have been tested for HIV and increase as perceptions of their chance (and their partner's chance) of being positive increases. The multivariate results from this study indicate that having an HIV test significantly predicts the likelihood of using a condom for STD prevention for US women. Furthermore, women who perceive themselves to be at least somewhat likely to be HIV positive have a higher probability of using a condom to prevent sexually transmitted disease, and women who perceive their partners to be HIV positive are twice as likely as other women to use a condom for STD prevention. However, women who consider themselves likely to be HIV positive are no more likely to use a condom than those who consider themselves not at risk.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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