Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Family Planning Perspectives
Volume 27, Number 6, November/December 1995

Multiple Partners, Risky Partners and HIV Risk Among Low-Income Urban Women

By David A. Wagstaff, Jeffrey A. Kelly, Melissa J. Perry, Kathleen J. Sikkema, Laura J. Solomon, Timothy G. Heckman, Eileen S. Anderson and the Community Housing AIDS Prevention Study Group

A sample of 671 predominantly single, young black women living in 10 low-income housing developments in five cities completed an anonymous questionnaire assessing factors related to their risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus, including their sexual behavior and condom use, and their partners' risk-related behaviors. In the two months before the 1994 survey, 17% of the women had sex with multiple partners and 22% had an exclusive partner who either had had other sexual partners in the past year or had a history of injection drug use; 40% had an exclusive partner who they believed had not engaged in these risky behaviors. During the same interval, 26% of women who had multiple partners received treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, compared with 9-11% of those who had an exclusive relationship. Condom use at last intercourse and communications about condom use were less frequent among women with an exclusive, risky partner than among those with multiple partners; attitudinal barriers to condom use did not vary, however, by the characteristics of women's relationships.

(Family Planning Perspectives, 27:241-245, 1995)

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