Reduction in Sexual Risk Behaviors and Infection Rates among African Americans and Mexican Americans

Jeffrey E. Korte, Rochelle N. Shain, Alan E.C. Holden, Jeanna M. Piper, Sondra T. Perdue, Jane D. Champion, Kyle Sterneckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Project SAFE, a gender- and culture-specific cognitive-behavioral intervention, was one of the few interventions to have demonstrated a significant reduction in sexually transmitted infections in a randomized, controlled trial. Goal: We evaluated intervention efficacy in 379 Mexican Americans and 170 African Americans; and in a subset of 477 women, explored ethnic differences in the relationships over time between attitudes/beliefs about relationships, reported sexual behavior, and infection. Study Design: Women were questioned intensively at baseline, 6, and 12 months. We used stratified analyses and multivariate regression to evaluate ethnic differences and the role of behavior in explaining ethnic differences in infection. Results: African Americans had higher overall infection rates (29.0% vs. 18.3%) than Mexican Americans, but the intervention efficacy was similar (odds ratios, 0.58 and 0.54, respectively). African Americans reported more douching after sex, less mutual monogamy, and more rapid partner turnover. However, Mexican Americans appeared slightly more likely to have sex with an untreated partner, and there was no difference in risky sex. African Americans reported greater difficulty finding partners and reported attitudes more compatible with nonmonogamy. Conclusions: Despite substantial ethnic differences in attitudes/beliefs, behaviors, and infection rates, the intervention had a comparable impact on both Mexican American and African American.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-173
Number of pages8
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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