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Perceived transmissibility of STIs: lack of differentiation between HIV and chlamydia
  1. B Knäuper,
  2. R Kornik
  1. McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  1. Correspondence to:
 Bärbel Knäuper
 Department of Psychology, McGill University, 1205 Dr Penfield Avenue, Montreal, QC, Canada, H3A 1B1;

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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as HIV and chlamydia, differ widely in their transmissibility. The estimated probability of HIV transmission from an infected heterosexual man to a woman in one act of unprotected vaginal intercourse is 0.1%,1 whereas the same probability for chlamydia is 35%.2 This research examines college students’ knowledge about the per act transmission probabilities for HIV and chlamydia.

Previous studies reported median perceived transmission probabilities of 50%3 and 33.4%4 for HIV for one act of unprotected receptive vaginal intercourse with an infected man. These findings were interpreted as demonstrating “badly overestimated per act transmission probabilities” (Pinkerton et al4 p 19). However, the distributions of the estimates were not provided. If estimates are widely dispersed …

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