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Sex partners link trust with low STD risk

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 30 (UPI) -- People often determine a sexual partner's risk for sexually transmitted disease by how long they have known each other, Canadian researchers said.

Cindy Masaro of the University of British Columbia and colleagues had 317 people at Canadian STD clinics complete questionnaires. The study subjects were questioned on their first visit to the clinic and had not yet been diagnosed with a STD.

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A Partner Safety Beliefs Scale was developed to determine the factors that most influenced perceived partner safety.

The study, published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, said study participants endorsed statements indicating that knowing or trusting a sexual partner influences their beliefs about their partner's safety.

Linear regression analysis indicated that those well-educated and with higher incomes were more often considered "safe" from STDs/HIV, the study said.

The results indicate that many individuals rely on partner attributes and relationship characteristics when assessing the STD/HIV status of a sexual partner, and that this reliance is associated with a decreased perception of personal STD/HIV risk.

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