HIV prevention; African American; women; sexual risk taking


Public Health


Although links between low mate availability and increased HIV and STI risk for African American women have been documented in the literature, we know little about the impact of limited mate choices on the quality of relationships between Black men and women and how these relationship dynamics impact risk for young Black women. We conducted a qualitative study with African American female young adults (N=12) to explore the perceived impact of structural forces on African American female young adults’ dating and sexual behavior. Participants reported (1) perceptions of Black men as untrustworthy and manipulative, (2) the limited and often negative roles for Black men in the larger Black community, and (3) heterosexual relationships in the Black community as increasingly influenced by economics and commerce. Recommendations for HIV prevention interventions that include micro and macro level approaches are discussed.

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