Partner Relationships and HIV Risk Behaviors Among Women Offenders

Department of Behavioral Science, Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0086, USA.
Journal of psychoactive drugs (Impact Factor: 1.1). 12/2008; 40(4):471-81. DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2008.10400653
Source: PubMed


The HIV infection rate is increasing among women in general and for female inmates specifically (Maruschak 2004), which makes understanding the correlates of risky sexual behaviors critical for this population. Partner relationships, particularly the extent to which women perceive they have power within the relationship, may be important in modeling risk behaviors. Few studies have considered the association between relationship power and HIV risk behaviors among women offenders. This study examines women's perceptions of their relationships using the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (Pulerwitz, Gortmaker, & DeJong 2000) and NIDA's HIV Risk Behavior Assessment (NIDA 1995). Data were collected from female inmates in four prisons as part of the Reducing Risky Relationships for HIV protocol being conducted through the NIDA's Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) cooperative agreement. Women reported whether they had engaged in five types of unprotected sex in the month prior to incarceration. Logistic regression models of the associations between relationship power and five types of unprotected sex revealed some support for the importance of power as a protective factor in reducing the odds of unprotected sexual behaviors. Implications and findings are presented to add to understanding of partner relationships and HIV risk behaviors.

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    • "Applying the ecological framework and principles of risk and resiliency, our findings highlight that, despite the potential benefits of being in a relationship (e.g., access to tangible and emotional support and security), supported by marginal significance of being married as protective and other studies indicating marriage as potentially protective (El-Bassel et al., 1997), sex-trading women may be unable to access or tap into these benefits and/or experience additional stressors or risks from their relationships. For example, data suggest that female offenders are more likely to have lower relationship power and engage in risky drug and sexual behaviors (Kim et al., 2002; Knudsen et al., 2008); for these women, relationship dynamics such as violence and drug dependency on a partner (not necessarily use with a partner, although risky) and individual drug and alcohol use may be more salient in driving their involvement in sex trading for survival. Although we predicted child sexual abuse to be associated with sex trading, supported by previous studies evidencing a link (Parillo et al., 2001; Widom & Kuhns, 1996), other studies, including our own, do not support this relationship fully (Logan et al., 2003; Nadon, Koverola, & Schludermann, 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite a slight decline in new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in New York, marked increases and concentrated epidemics continue among subsets of the population, including women engaged in sex trading. We examined the prevalence and correlates of sex trading among 346 low-income, HIV-negative women in HIV-concordant intimate relationships. Women and their long-term main partners were recruited to participate in an HIV prevention intervention. Baseline data were used in this article. Of the 346 women in the study, 28% reported sex trading during the prior 90 days. Multivariate analyses showed increased relative risk of sex trading by lifetime experience of severe intimate partner violence (IPV), drug, and alcohol use, and marginal significance for mental health hospitalization, partner drug dependency, and homelessness. These findings suggest an urgent need for HIV prevention and intervention efforts targeted toward women in intimate relationships who trade sex for money or drugs, with an emphasis on IPV, mental health, history of incarceration, and substance abuse. Copyright © 2015 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Women s Health Issues
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    • "In women, low relationship power has been linked to sexual risk (Harris, Grant, Pitter, & Brodie, 2009; Knudsen et al., 2008). However, in adolescents and young adults, results have been mixed. "

    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jan 2011
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    • "In women, low relationship power has been linked to sexual risk (Harris, Grant, Pitter, & Brodie, 2009; Knudsen et al., 2008). However, in adolescents and young adults, results have been mixed. "

    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Journal of Adolescent Health
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