Relationships and HIV Risk Among Incarcerated Women

Michele Staton-Tindall, Carl Leukefeld, Jennifer Palmer, Carrie Oser, Ali Kaplan, Jennifer Krietemeyer, Christine Saum, Hilary L. Surratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


HIV risk is a public health concern, particularly for women prisoners who are reentering the community. This article describes findings from focus groups conducted as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse—funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) cooperative agreement to inform the development of a gender-specific HIV intervention for women. Focus group findings indicate that a woman's HIV risk behavior is influenced by relationships: (a) drug and alcohol use are common in relationships, (b) sex is used as a strategy to manipulate partners, (c) trust is often derived from a perceived long-term commitment, (d) perceived safety is influenced by specific partner characteristics, (e) HIV and other sexually transmitted infections were not viewed as potential consequences of risky behavior, (f) feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth become normalized in problem relationships, and (g) women fear rejection if they ask their partners to use protection. Recommendations for developing a relationship-focused HIV intervention for women prisoners at community reentry are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-165
Number of pages23
JournalThe Prison Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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