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Ethnic differences in HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of female college students.
Soet JE; Dudley B; DiIorio C; Manteuffel B; Rollins School of Public
January 30, 1997
Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):178 (abstract no. Mo.D.1720). Unique

Objectives: To examine ethnic differences in HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of female college students. Methods: Ethnic differences in knowledge, attitudes and behavior were examined using data collected from students randomly selected from registrar lists at six colleges and universities in a large metropolitan area in the southeastern U.S. Respondents who reported that they were female, single, ages 18-25, sexually active, and that they were White (n = 414) or Black (n = 443) were included. The mean age of this subsample was 20.6. The variables examined were AIDS and safer sex knowledge, outcome expectancies (OE) for condom use, discussion of safer sex, and abstinence, general risk-taking attitudes, sexual history, condom use and discussion of safer sex with partner. Results: Ethnic differences in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior were mixed. No differences were found in knowledge. Black women initiated vaginal intercourse significantly younger (mean of x= 16.4) than their White counterparts (mean of x = 16.9, p is less than .001). However, Black women reported more positive safe sex attitudes (p is less than .001) and behaviors (p is less than .001) than Whites. Multivariate regression analyses were used to examine association among demographics, sexual history, and perceived vulnerability and the outcome variables. The overall models accounted for 24% of the variance in attitudes and 13% of the variance in behaviors. While race was the most important predictor of attitudes and behavior, religiosity, perceived vulnerability and sexual history contributed to an increase in R2. The pattern of prediction indicates that religiosity predicted OE for abstinence (beta = -1.664, p is less than .001), whereas perceived vulnerability and sexual history predicted OE for condom use (beta = .3394 & .4147, p is less than .001 & .01) and condom use behavior (beta = .1613 & .3478, p is less than 001). OE for discussion and discussion behavior were not well predicted. Conclusions: While college age Black women may be engaging in sexual activity at greater rates than White women, our data suggest that Black women have adopted safer sex attitudes and behaviors to a greater extent than Whites. Specifically, religious beliefs appear to predict attitudes toward abstinence whereas sexual experience and perceived vulnerability predict attitudes toward and actual condom use.

*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/ETHNOLOGY *Blacks *HIV Infections/ETHNOLOGY *Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice *Sex Behavior *Students *Whites