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.
- HIV infection
- Partner characteristics
- Risk behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health