Pathways to Sexual Risk Reduction

Gender Differences and Strategies for Intervention

Published in: AIDS and Behavior, v. 10, no. 1, Jan. 2006, p. 93-104

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2005

by Douglas L. Longshore, Judith Stein, Dorothy Chin

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Using the AIDS risk reduction model as our conceptual framework and structural equation modeling as our analytic tool, the authors tested psychosocial antecedents of sexual risk reduction among heterosexually active men and women who use illegal drugs. With baseline sexual risk behavior controlled, stronger commitment to safer sex predicted less sexual risk behavior for both men and women. For men but not women, greater AIDS knowledge predicted safer sex commitment. For women but not men, higher self-efficacy predicted stronger commitment to safer sex, and peer norms favoring sexual risk reduction predicted higher self-efficacy. Intervention for men should focus on increasing safer sex commitment and AIDS knowledge. Intervention for women should promote safer sex commitment by raising self-efficacy for sexual risk reduction.

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