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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

UNITED STATES: 'And Let Me See Them Damn Papers!' The Role of STI/AIDS Screening Among Urban African-American and Puerto Rican Youth in the Transition to Sex Without a Condom


AIDS and Behavior Vol. 15; No. 7: P. 1359-1371 (10..11) -

Project PHRESH.comm is a mixed-method, ethnographic study incorporating data from focus group discussions, semi- structured interviews, coital diaries, systematic cultural assessments, and a structured survey designed to explore concepts of risk and condom use decision-making among at-risk African Americans and Puerto Ricans ages 18-25 in Hartford, Conn. Common strategies employed by US youths to prevent HIV/STI transmission include abstinence, monogamy, and safer sex; however, these require a high level of vigilance and responsibility and, the researchers reported, "according to inner-city participants in Project PHRESH.comm, neither option is always desirable, available or rational in the context of their lived experiences." In the current study, many of the young adults reported relying on a strategy of using clinic-sponsored STI/AIDS screening when wanting to discontinue condom use with a partner. Though the data suggest that screening is commonly used by couples seeking to move to sex without a condom, it also showed that most youths do not maintain monogamy even in long-term, serious relationships.

"Thus, sharing test results may provide a false sense of security in the sexual culture of inner-city, minority youth," the research team concluded.


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