AIDS Education Courses Including Negotiation Skills More Effective Than Basic Education
Researchers in Ohio have shown through the AIDS Prevention Among Women project that AIDS education courses that include condom negotiation skills are more effective than courses providing only information on how to prevent HIV infection, the Beacon Journal reports. Kent State University psychology professor Stevan Hobfoll and Dr. Justin Lavin, a maternal fetal medicine specialist with Summa Health System, since 1990 have provided 1,600 Akron women with health and AIDS education classes and followed the women to track their rates of STD and HIV infection. "If the goal is actual behavior change, you have to look at the area of risk and target that," Hobfoll said, adding that most people do not have "sophisticated" negotiation skills that can be tapped during "spontaneous" sex. Jackie Figler, director of Violet's Cupboard, an Akron Health Department HIV/AIDS project, said, "A woman can understand very well how one gets AIDS. But if one can't negotiate with their partners, it doesn't make any difference" (Wheeler, Beacon Journal, 8/13).
Some Bisexual Men Put Women At Risk
The Beacon Journal today also profiles an HIV-positive woman who contracted the virus from her infected bisexual husband. An estimated "tens of thousands" of American women have become infected with HIV through their HIV-positive husbands and boyfriends who are "living on the down low" -- men who have sex with men without their wives' and girlfriends' knowledge. Minority women are "most at risk" of contracting HIV from men who have sex with men, as one-fourth of African-American men on the "down low" considered themselves heterosexual, compared to 6% of white men. The CDC is scheduled to release today at the National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta its most recent statistics on minority women and HIV/AIDS (Wheeler, Beacon Journal, 8/13). The full article is available online.