Employment, social support, and HIV sexual-risk behavior in Puerto Rican women

Denise A. Dixon, Michael Antoni, Michael Peters, Janet Saul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study examined psychosocial factors associated with HIV-risk behavior among Latina women at self-disclosed heterosexual risk for HIV infection. Data were collected via structured interviews for 187 Puerto Rican women, aged 18-35, who attended a health clinic in the Bronx, New York. Over 64% of all participants reported unprotected vaginal sex with primary sexual partners. Higher levels of unprotected vaginal sex were associated with living with the partner, residing with children, current employment, heightened negative mood, and greater social support from the partner. The relationship between increased negative mood and increased unprotected vaginal sex use was mediated by employment, after controlling for educational level, living with the partner, and residing with children. The findings suggest that interventions designed to facilitate HIV-protective behaviors may need to consider that employment may supercede relationship factors among populations of urban women identified at increased heterosexual risk for HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Employment
  • HIV risk
  • Latinas
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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