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Body Image and HIV Risk among College Students

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Objectives: To focus on the role of sex, race/ethnicity, and body image in HIV-protective behaviors. Methods: Undergraduates (N = 277; 53% women; M = 19.27 years old) from the United States completed a survey on HIV-related behaviors and body image (appearance orientation and appearance evaluation). Results: Women and African Americans/ Blacks were more likely to have ever had an HIV test. African Americans/Blacks and individuals who had more positive evaluations of their appearance were more likely to have ever asked a partner's HIV status and to have asked a partner to get tested for HIV. Conclusions: Findings indicate low rates of HIV testing and communication with a partner about HIV, suggesting the importance of sexual health intervention and education programs for college students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pennsylvania State University, Division of Social Sciences, Abington, PA, USA. [email protected] 2: Rutgers University, Department of Psychology, Camden, NJ, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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