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Table 1 Key hypotheses of associations between increase in condom use and change in HIV risk perception

From: Relationships between changes in HIV risk perception and condom use in East Zimbabwe 2003–2013: population-based longitudinal analyses

Among those not perceiving a risk for HIV infection at the beginning of the period between surveys:
Hypothesis 1: An increase in HIV risk perception leads to an increase in condom use
Risk perception is a motivating factor for condom use. A positive association between increased risk perception and increased condom use would support a causal role of risk perception as it is theoretically implausible that an increase in condom use causes an increase in risk perception.
Among those perceiving a risk for HIV infection at the beginning of the period between surveys:
Hypothesis 2: An increase in condom use leads to a decrease in HIV risk perception
Starting to use condoms may lead to a downward adjustment of risk perception as protective measures are implemented. This would be supported by a positive association between decreased risk perception and increased condom use as it would be implausible that a decrease in risk perception causes an increase in condom use.
  1. Further hypotheses regarding decrease in condom use are considered in Additional file 1, section 7.