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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