AIDS anxiety and sexual behavior: a comparative study

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Questionnaire responses of 214 college students at Virginia Polytechnic & State University regarding AIDS anxiety and how it affects sexual behavior were analyzed. Results indicated that women tend to have more AIDS anxiety than do men. Fifty-three percent of the male respondents reported their AIDS anxiety to be low/very low, and 15.7% reported high/very high, while 44.9% of the women responded low/very low, and 22.5% as being high/very high.

Both males and females reported an increase in the number of sexual encounters a month, however, the number of different partners has decreased when data from 1986 and 1988 were compared. In 1986, 36.9% of the males reported being sexually active 3+ times a month, while in 1988, 51.5% of the males were sexually active 3+ times a month. In 1986, 50.2% of the females reported being sexually active 3+ times a month, whi1e 56.6% of the females in 1988 indicated that frequency. In 1986, 36.2% of the males and 31.5% of the females responded that they had 3+ different partners while 22.9% of the males and 14.1% of the females responded this way in 1988.

Those who reported experiencing high anxiety concerning AIDS were less likely to use birth control than those who reported a low AIDS anxiety. Seventy-one percent of the respondents reported using some form of birth control, with 35.5% reporting the use of condoms.