HIV Prevention and transmission myths among heterosexually active adults in low-income areas of South Florida

Dano W. Beck, Marlene LaLota, Lisa R. Metsch, Gabriel A. Cardenas, David W. Forrest, Spencer Lieb, Thomas M. Liberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Misconceptions about HIV transmission and prevention may inhibit individuals' accurate assessment of their level of risk. We used venue-based sampling to conduct a cross-sectional study of heterosexually active adults (N = 1, 221) within areas exhibiting high poverty and HIV/ AIDS rates in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in 2007. Two logistic regression analyses identified correlates of holding inaccurate beliefs about HIV transmission and prevention. Belief in incorrect HIVprevention methods (27.2%) and modes of transmission (38.5%) was common. Having at least one incorrect prevention belief was associated with being Hispanic compared to white (non-Hispanic), being depressed, and not knowing one's HIV status. Having at least one incorrect transmission belief was associated with being younger, heavy alcohol use, being depressed, not having seen a physician in the past 12 months, and not knowing one's HIV status. Among low-income heterosexuals, HIV prevention and transmission myths are widespread. Debunking them could have HIV prevention value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-760
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012



  • Beliefs
  • HIV
  • HIV status
  • Misconceptions
  • Myths
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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