This study sought to determine HIV prevention strategies other than male condom use employed by low-income women who have sex with men (WSM) and to identify variables that predict use of these strategies. A cross-sectional survey of nearly 4,000 women receiving Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits in 21 Missouri counties was conducted. The response rate was 58%, with 2,256 completed questionnaires returned. Women were asked to indicate one or more of nine methods they had ever used to prevent HIV infection. Women were also asked about their use of male condoms, preference for male condoms versus female condoms, and which partner usually made decisions about STD/HIV prevention. Of the 2,256 questionnaires returned, 1,325 WSM indicated use of at least one HIV prevention strategy other than condom use. Strategies were: being tested for HIV (68.2%), partner being tested for HIV (44.1%), asking partner about his sex history (41.1%), using oral contraceptives (18.8%), asking him if he has HIV (13.7%), douching (11.8%), withdrawal (9.4%), and having anal or oral sex (6.6%). Common predictors of these strategies were race, education, history of STD, condom use, and marital status. Basic misunderstandings about HIV prevention are common in specified subpopulations of low-income women. HIV prevention programs for low-income WSM should capitalize on women's efforts to prevent HIV by designing programs to help women replace ineffective prevention strategies with effective prevention strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health