REFERENCE: Hovell, M.F., Rodriguez, G.B., Kelley, N., Sipan,C. L. and Blumberg,E. (1997). HIV Prevention skills of separated/divorced women. Presented at the 14th annual AIDS Investigators Meeting of the Universitywide AIDS Research Program, San Francisco, CA, March 20, 1997.

Objective: The primary aims of this 2-year study are: 1) to assess the level of condom negotiation and other assertive skills in divorced latina and anglo women; and 2) to test a behavioral rehearsal intervention by assessing differential change in trained women's skill levels relative to didactic training controls.

Methods: A sample of 107 latina and anglo women, ages 18 to 49 who experienced separation or divorce within the last 6 to 18 months completed a baseline interview and videotaped roleplay test and were randomly assigned to either ten hours of social skills training or didactic training. Targeted AIDS assertiveness skills included Condom Use Negotiation, Talking to a Friend About His/Her Risk Practices, and Introducing AIDS as a Concern in an Existing Relationship. Post-test and 4 month follow-up measures assessed training effects using repeated measures ANOVA to determine differential change in assertive skills. Following completion of data collection in April, 1997 exploratory analyses of correlates of risk practices will be assessed using multiple linear regression or multiple logistic regression for continuous and categorical variables, respectively.

Preliminary Results: Pre and post-test interviews are available for 107 subjects with a mean age of 35 yrs. 25% reported extramarital vaginal intercourse during their entire marriage/live-in relationship excluding 1 year before separation, 78.6% of whom reported using condoms less than half the time or never. 5% reported extramarital anal intercourse during this time period with no condom use. For the year prior to separation, 24% reported extramarital vaginal intercourse, 4.8% reported extramarital anal intercourse, and 80% of those who had vaginal or anal intercourse never used condoms. However, during the first 6 to 18 months after separation, 76.4% reported vaginal intercourse; 39.6% reported more than 1 partner since separation as compared to 7.7% during the year before separation. 76.8% of subjects reporting vaginal intercourse since separation used condoms less than half the time or never. 19.8% reported anal intercourse since separation 72.2% of whom never used condoms. ANOVA results on pre-and post-tests for videotaped roleplays indicated a significant increase in skill level of social skills training subjects (n=34) compared with didactic training subjects (n=36) for the anxiety (p<.01), assertiveness (p<.01), and verbal content (p<.01) domains of the condom use negotiation skill; the anxiety domain (p<.05) of the Talking to a Friend About His/Her Risk Practices skill; and the anxiety (p<.05), assertiveness (p<.001), verbal content (p<.001) and nonverbal (p<.05) domains of the Introducing AIDS as a Concern in an Existing Relationship Skill.

Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate a significant level of sexual risk behaviors for women experiencing separation/divorce. There is also evidence of significant increase in risk reduction skill level following social skills training. Follow-up outcomes for post-training risk behaviors will be examined once data collection is complete.


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