Sexual Risk Among Impoverished Women

Understanding the Role of Housing Status

Published In: AIDS and Behavior, v. 11, Suppl. 2, Nov. 2007, p. S9-S20

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2006

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

Read More

Access further information on this document at springerlink.metapress.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

HIV/AIDS increasingly affects women, and housing status is important to understanding HIV risk behaviors among women. The goal of this study is to enhance understanding of the association between housing status and a key sexual risk behavior, having multiple sex partners, by investigating the extent to which housing status differences can be accounted for by hypothesized explanatory factors. In a probability sample of 833 women in Los Angeles, results indicated that homeless African American and Hispanic women had from two to almost five times greater odds than low-income housed women of having multiple sex partners in the past 6 months. These disparities in risk behavior were accounted for by housing status differences in perceived susceptibility to HIV/AIDS, recent victimization by physical violence, drug use severity, and avoidant coping. Findings provide further evidence that interventions should address a multifaceted context of HIV risk for impoverished women.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.