Crack cocaine use and sexual activity in Miami, Florida†

Norman L. Weatherby, James M. Shultz, Dale D. Chitwood, H. Virginia McCoy, Clyde B. McCoy, Dona D. Ludwig, Brian R. Edlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Data are analyzed from the Multicenter Study of Crack Cocaine and HIV Infection in Miami, Florida, examining interrelationships among use of crack cocaine, use of other drugs, sexual activity, and exchange of sex for money and drugs. This study was designed to recruit two groups of approximately equal size: persons who reported current use of crack cocaine three or more times per week, and those who had never used crack. Participants (N = 641) were recruited in Miami. Participants' median age for first use of crack cocaine was higher than for use of alcohol, marijuana or powdered cocaine. It was also higher than participants' ages at first sexual activity, and somewhat higher than the median age for reporting initiation of trading sex for money or drugs. The median age of first crack use was lower among younger participants, suggesting that crack use in older participants followed quickly upon availability of the drug. Crack users reported reduced desire for sex and diminished ability to have sex after smoking crack. However, crack use was associated with increased sexual activity, trading sex for money or drugs, and sex with multiple partners. Participants who traded sex for money or drugs (traders) reported higher rates of condom use than nontraders; however, neither traders nor nontraders reported rates of condom use sufficient to substantially reduce the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of psychoactive drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Condom use
  • Contraceptive devices
  • Crack cocaine
  • Miami
  • Prostitution
  • Sex behavior
  • Sexual activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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