Psychosocial correlates of health-protective sexual communication with new sexual partners: The National AIDS Behavioral Survey
We examined health-protective sexual communication (HPSC) with new sexual partners, in a national sample of heterosexuals. Psychosocial factors associated with HPSC were examined with the AIDS Risk Reduction Model (ARRM). Higher HPSC was related to high self-efficacy with respect to sexual activity and to condom use, and to being sexually assertive. Greater comfort with condoms, experience with HIV-preventive behaviors, and commitment to use condoms were also associated with higher HPSC, indicating that there is a strong health component in safer sex talk. Significant interactions among gender, ethnicity, and psychosocial variables underscore the importance of the cultural context in shaping HIV-preventive behaviors. Prevention efforts should address general sexual self-efficacy and encourage HPSC by developing group-specific strategies, such as increasing condom self-efficacy for women, increasing sexual comfort for Latinas, as well as emphasizing the empowering and cooperative aspect of HPSC for all.