The relationship of unsafe sexual behavior and the characteristics of sexual partners of HIV infected and HIV uninfected adolescent females

Marsha S. Sturdevant, Marvin Belzer, Gloria Weissman, Lawrence B. Friedman, Moussa Sarr, Larry R. Muenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare characteristics of sexual relationships in HIV infected and HIV uninfected female adolescents and their association with condom use. Methods: HIV infected and uninfected subjects, aged 13-19 years, were enrolled in a prospective HIV study from 15 sites in 13 U.S. cities. Baseline data on demographic information, substance use, sexual behavior, partner information, and condom use were collected through direct and computer-assisted interviews from currently sexually active females. Univariate, multiple logistic regression, and repeated measures analyses were employed. Results: Data from 153 HIV infected and 90 HIV uninfected female subjects showed, on average, that current partners were 4-6 years older. In multivariate analysis, HIV infected subjects were older (OR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.04-1.81), had more lifetime partners (OR = 2.23; 95% CI: 1.03-4.82), initiated consensual vaginal sex earlier (OR = .74; 95% CI: .58-.95), perceived partner to also be HIV infected (OR = 7.46; 95% CI: 3.2-17.4), and had less unprotected sex (OR = .27; 95% CI: .16-.45). Length of relationship was associated with more unprotected sex for both HIV infected and uninfected subjects (OR = 2.59, 95% CI: 1.27-5.27, OR = 4.13; 95% CI: 1.31-13.05, respectively). Mean partner age difference was greater among HIV infected than for HIV uninfected (OR = 1.06; 95%CI: 1.01-1.12); this greater age difference for HIV infected females was associated with less protection (OR = 1.09; 95% CI: 1.03-1.15). HIV disclosure influenced condom use: without disclosure, less condom use was reported (OR = 6.8; 95% CI: 2.29-20.24) controlling for perception that partner was also HIV infected (OR = 1.1; 95% CI: 1.02-1.21). Conclusions: Because age differential influenced reported condom use, more research, particularly qualitative, is needed into the dynamics of these relationships. Prevention efforts must address partners, particularly older ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Sep 11 2001


  • Adolescents
  • HIV infection
  • Partner characteristics
  • Risk behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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