Predictors of Unprotected Sex with Non-Cohabitating Primary Partners Among Sheltered and Low-Income Housed Women in Los Angeles County

Published in: Journal of Health Psychology, v. 11, no. 5, Sep. 2006, p. 697-710

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Joan S. Tucker, Suzanne L. Wenzel, Marc N. Elliott, Katrin Hambarsoomian

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This study investigated associations of substance use, relationship abuse and HIV self-protective behavior with unprotected sex among 290 impoverished women with a non-cohabitating primary partner. Unprotected sex was associated with having a physically or psychologically abusive partner among low-income housed women, and having an abusive partner who also drank to intoxication among women living in shelters. Indicators of HIV self-protective behavior were associated with less frequent unprotected sex among sheltered women, even after accounting for abuse and substance use within the relationship. Results suggest the need for HIV-prevention interventions to address the problems of partner substance use and relationship abuse.

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