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Recent reports indicate that AIDS is increasing among Asian and Pacific Islander populations. Data from 249 women sampled from nine Asian and Pacific Islander communities in San Diego County from 1993 to 1995 were examined to determine what factors contributed to perceived susceptibility to HIV infection and having had an HIV test. Thirteen percent of women sampled were classified as high risk for HIV infection, while half of the women reported perceived susceptibility to HIV. Years in the United States and ethnicity appeared to be effect modifiers of the relationship between risk behaviors and perceived susceptibility. In the multivariate model, high school education or greater, age of 30 or more, participation in risk behaviors, and knowing an HIV-positive person were significantly associated with perceived susceptibility. Reliability of self-reported sexual behavior was somewhat low, while the reliability of data relating to injection drug use and needle sharing was high.