Male and female rural probationers: HIV risk behaviors and knowledge

C. B. Oser, C. G. Leukefeld, M. Staton Tindall, J. R. Havens, J. M. Webster, H. M. Smiley-Mcdonald, A. L. Cosentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Individuals involved in the criminal justice system are at substantial risk for HIV infection and have elevated rates of AIDS. Offenders under community supervision, such as probationers, have substantially more opportunities to engage in high-risk behaviors than prisoners. Furthermore, probationers in rural areas are at risk because rural areas may be slower to adopt HIV risk-reduction approaches. Consequently, the primary goal of this study is to describe the HIV risk behaviors and level of HIV knowledge of 800 rural felony probationers. Bivariate results indicate that males have substantially greater criminal histories and engage in more substance use risk behaviors than females. Overall, there was minimal and inconsistent use of condoms, but there were no significant differences by gender. Gender differences prevailed in perceived HIV knowledge, with females reporting high levels of perceived HIV knowledge. Multivariate models did not support the hypothesis that perceived knowledge would be a more robust correlate of scores on the HIV Risk Behavior Knowledge Test for males than females. Results suggest that rural residents are not protected from engaging in HIV risk behaviors and future studies should examine gender discrepancies between perceived and actual HIV knowledge among offenders under community supervision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project is supported by grant #R01DA11580 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The opinions expressed are those of the authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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