HIV-related attitudes and risk behavior of young adolescent mothers.


This article reports on the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors among young adolescent mothers. To determine the facilitators and barriers to condom use for young adolescent mothers, a survey of HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and behavior and focus groups was conducted. Young mothers (N = 58) have basic knowledge and some personal concern about HIV, but also hold common misconceptions about HIV and people with AIDS. Despite their anxiety about HIV, almost half rarely or never protect themselves against HIV by using a condom. Although 70% of the sample use hormonal contraceptives, more than one third of the sample have had a second child within an average of 18 months after the birth of their first baby. Personal concern about HIV was significantly associated with consistency of condom use. Because of low rates of condom use and substantial rates of multiple sex partners, STDs and second pregnancies, disadvantaged adolescent mothers are at risk of exposure to HIV. Increased personalized concern for HIV may lead to greater motivations for safer behavior for these mothers. In addition to protecting their own safety, the protection of their child may be an important motivator for safe behavior. Cultural taboos against safe sex and the perception of such behavior as "unfeminine" also need to be addressed for these women.

Cite this paper

@article{Brown1998HIVrelatedAA, title={HIV-related attitudes and risk behavior of young adolescent mothers.}, author={Larry K. Brown and Kevin J Lourie and Philip Flanagan and Pamela C. High}, journal={AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education}, year={1998}, volume={10 6}, pages={565-73} }