Prevalence of AIDS-related risk factors and condom use in the United States

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Science  13 Nov 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5085, pp. 1101-1106
DOI: 10.1126/science.1439818


A national probability survey of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related risk factors among the general heterosexual population, the National AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) Behavioral Surveys, has obtained data from 10,630 respondents. Data are presented on the prevalence of HIV-related risks in the general heterosexual population, on the distribution of the three largest risk groups across social strata, and on the prevalence and distribution of condom use among heterosexuals reporting a risk factor. Between 15 and 31 percent of heterosexuals nationally and 20 and 41 percent in cities with a high prevalence of AIDS reported an HIV risk factor. Condom use was relatively low. Only 17 percent of those with multiple sexual partners, 12.6 percent of those with risky sexual partners, and 10.8 percent of untested transfusion recipients used condoms all the time. Overall, the results suggest that current HIV prevention programs have, to a very limited extent, reached those heterosexuals with multiple sexual partners but have failed to reach many other groups of the heterosexual population at risk for HIV. New public health strategies may be needed for these specific risk groups.

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