Asking about a sexual partner's health or sexual history is not a reliable means of avoiding AIDS because many people lie to have sex, a researcher says.

One-third of sexually experienced male college students and 10 percent of women admitted in a study that they have told a lie of some sort to get someone to sleep with them, the researcher said."Asking partners about risk factors is probably not a very good strategy for reducing the risk of AIDS," said Susan Cochran, associate professor in the psychology department of California State University at Northridge.

She described results of her survey Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Cochran said she began the study after noticing that many women were asking sex partners about past behavior that carries a risk of AIDS infection as a way to reassure themselves about having sex with the man.