Why Do Young Hispanic Women Take Sexual Risks? Psychological and Cultural Factors for HIV Prevention

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Young Hispanic women have been particularly affected by HIV. For this reason, we analyzed the influence of cognitive factors, dispositional variables, and gender culture on the HIV risks of two groups of Hispanic women. Young Argentinian and Spanish women (N = 342) completed the AIDS Prevention Questionnaire, the Spanish version of the Sexual Compulsivity Scale, and the Spanish version of the Sexual Sensation Seeking Scale in order to evaluate knowledge of HIV transmission, HIV, and condom use; self-efficacy; safe-sex intention and safe sex; as well as Sexual Sensation Seeking and Sexual Compulsivity traits. Our findings support a different pattern of HIV risk based on gender inequality, although self-efficacy and sexual sensation seeking seem to have been the main important predictors of unsafe sex and HIV risk. Social and psychological factors should be considered to design HIV prevention strategies aimed at young Hispanic women.

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