Internet Study about Risk Factors Associated with HIV among Heterosexuals in Puerto Rico

David Pérez-Jiménez, Edna Acosta-Pérez, Jesús M. Ortega-Guzmán, José A. Maldonado-Martínez


Objective: Heterosexual intercourse is the main mode of HIV transmission among heterosexual women in Puerto Rico and the third for men. We conducted an Internetbased study of heterosexual young adults in Puerto Rico to explore their sexual practices, beliefs and decision-making skills for HIV prevention. Data presented in this study will help to understand the factors that contribute to the sexual transmission of HIV among heterosexuals within the Puerto Rican context. Method: We administered an online-based survey to a sample of 618 young adult heterosexual men and women. Data were collected using Perseus Survey Solutions software. Results: Overall, most participants expressed they had the same sexual partner in the previous six months, never or almost never used male condoms with their main partner and did not perceive themselves at-risk of contracting HIV (have a low HIV risk perception). Men reported using male condoms more frequently than women (e.g. male condom on their male partner) during vaginal sex, in particular single and younger men. Women expressed more positive attitudes toward male condoms than men. Conclusion: Results confirm the need to implement interventions that increases the sense of vulnerability among heterosexuals, as well as skills and use of male condoms. This study contributes additional data on sexual practices and attitudes to encourage the identification of new or current changes in HIV protective or risk factors, specifically for an understudied population of Heterosexuals in Puerto Rico.


sexual practices, condom use, attitudes toward male condoms, alcohol use, sexual negotiation, type of partner, risk perception, Internet, heterosexual sex, adults

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