“MEN I MESS WITH DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH AIDS”:

Using Ethno-theory to Understand Sexual Risk Perception

Authors


*Direct all correspondence to Reyes, Ramos, Ph.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78284-7836.

Abstract

Pivotal in HIV/STD intervention and prevention is how individuals perceive risk. This article discusses how ethnotheory can be used to understand the underpinnings of risk perception from the subject's perspective. Ethnotheory's theoretical and methodological character extends present models used to explain sex-related HIV behaviors and provides insights into risk perception useful for the development of effective intervention strategies. Four detailed ethnographic excerpts from low-income African American and Mexican American men and women illustrate how people form perceptions of risk and how information gained through ethnotheory is useful in the design of culturally relevant interventions.

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