Purpose: To identify the educational factors associated with HIV risk behaviors among incarcerated women. Methods: We evaluated a cohort of female detainees at The Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute between July and September 2004. Among the 423 women who participated in the study, 55% did not have a high school diploma, 29% had ≤8th grade reading capacity, 32% had a learning disability, 37% had problem drinking, and 61% (257/423) reported HIV risk behavior. Results: In multiple logistic regression, participants who had completed high school had the lowest likelihood of HIV risk behavior (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.12-1.00). There was no association between participants' literacy level and HIV risk behavior (adjusted OR 2.02, 95% CI 0.83-4.92). Conclusions: Correctional education programs to reduce HIV risk behavior should focus on those with low educational attainment irrespective of literacy skills.
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