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Gender Power Inequality and Continued Sexual Risk Behavior among Racial/Ethnic Minority Adolescent and Young Adult Women Living with HIV

Van Devanter, N.; Duncan, A.; Birnbaum, J.; Burrell-Piggott, T.; Siegel, K.

Journal of Aids and Clinical Research 2011(S1)

2011


ISSN/ISBN: 2155-6113
PMID: 23101031
Accession: 053358622

Adolescent and young adult minority women account for approximately 20% of new cases of HIV in this age group each year in the United States. It is vital to understand factors that influence sexual risk behavior in this population in order to prevent secondary transmission of HIV. As part of a larger qualitative study of youths living with HIV, in- depth interviews were conducted with 26 Black and Latina young women aged 16 to 24 years, infected with HIV through heterosexual transmission. The study explored factors related to continued unprotected sex with male partners. Since learning of their HIV infection, 23% reported multiple episodes of unprotected vaginal and/or anal sex, 27% reported condom use for some but not all of the time, 42% reported condom use all of the time and 7% were not sexually active. Among the highest risk participants partner refusal to use a condom, having the same HIV sero-status as partner, negative attitudes toward condoms, beliefs about HIV transmission, and fear of disclosure to new partners were associated with risky sex. The data suggests that more research is needed to develop more intensive interventions that address the role of gender power inequity for this sub-set of young women living with HIV.

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