Number of Sexual Partners and Associations with Initiation and Intensity of Substance Use

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
AIDS and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.49). 05/2011; 15(4):869-74. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-010-9669-0
Source: PubMed


We dissected associations between initiation and intensity of substance use and number of sexual partners using pooled data from high school seniors (weighted n = 13,580) who participated in the 1999-2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey. In multinomial multivariable logistic regressions, number of sexual partners steadily increased as substance use intensified from never use to experimental/new user to heavy use across all substances for both male and females. Severity of substance use is more closely related to, and thus a better indicator of, higher number of sexual partners than age of substance use onset.


Available from: Patty Cavazos-Rehg
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    • "Similarly, experiencing more depressive symptoms is associated with a greater number of sexual partners during adolescence and young adulthood [13e15]. Several studies have shown associations between substance use and depression and multiple partners for both male and female adolescents [7] [9] [14] [15] although some research has found that depressive symptoms only predict multiple partners for female adolescents [16], and that different substances may differentially predict number of partners by gender and race/ethnicity [12]. However, this research uses samples of adolescents and young adults at different ages, providing only snapshots of different periods. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose To examine time-varying associations between predictors of recent multiple sexual partners from middle adolescence through young adulthood. Methods We examined whether the odds of multiple partners in the past year were differentially predicted by substance use and depression over time, using data from a nationally representative longitudinal study (N = 11,963, 52.2% female, 18.3% African-American, 11.9% Hispanic, 3.5% Asian, 2.6% other race, M age at Wave I = 16.1 years, SD = 1.8). Data were analyzed using the time-varying effect model, which estimates associations between predictors and an outcome as a function of near-continuous time. Results The proportion of participants having multiple partners increased over time, leveling off at around 30% after age 20. Significant positive associations between substance use and multiple partners were strongest early in adolescence and decreased sharply by around age 18. The significant positive association between depression and sexual behavior weakened with age, remaining significant in young adulthood for women but not men. Conclusions These findings suggest that factors associated with having multiple recent sexual partners change from middle adolescence through young adulthood. The time-varying effect model can be used to identify risk factors that are especially salient at different ages, thus identifying which age periods may hold the greatest promise for intervention.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 10/2014; 55(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.025 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition to the parallels between drug use debut and sexual debut, numerous studies have highlighted a cooccurrence of both behaviors, linking the debut of one type of behavior to the other, or both, and underscore their complex and often interwoven associations [20, 59–64]. For example, one investigation of Swedish high school students found that teens who reported sexual debuts at age 15 used more tobacco, illicit drugs, and alcohol than their aged-matched inexperienced peers, suggesting a clustering of risk behaviors linked with early sexual initiation [65]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers examining injection drug users (IDUs) in drug treatment have been trying for decades to determine the optimal way to intervene to prevent the transmission and spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in this population. Although efficacious HIV risk reduction interventions are widely available, questions remain about what specific factors are most related to HIV risk behavior and defined as unprotected sexual activity and/or high risk drug use. This review involved an evaluation of the research literature in order to better understand the association between drug use and sexual behavior debut on HIV risk behavior. Findings suggest that drug use debut and sexual behavior debut may be related to subsequent HIV risk behavior. Evidence to date implies that intervening at an earlier age to assist youth to avoid or delay these high risk behaviors may be an additional means of reducing subsequent HIV risk.
    12/2013; 2013(4):976035. DOI:10.1155/2013/976035
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates whether age at first alcoholic drink is associated with sexual risk behaviors among injection drug users (IDUs) and non-IDUs who are sexual partners of IDUs in St. Petersburg, Russia. A path analysis was used to test a model of age at first drink, age at sexual debut, age at first drug use, current substance use patterns and current sexual risk behaviors among 558 participants. Results revealed that age at first drink had an effect on multiple sex partners through age at sexual debut and injection drug use, but no effect on unprotected sex. Age at first drug use was not related to sexual risk behaviors. Investigation of age of drinking onset may provide useful information for programs to reduce sexual risk behaviors and injection drug use. Different paths leading to unprotected sex and multiple sexual partners call for different approaches to reduce sexual risk behaviors among this population.
    AIDS and Behavior 07/2011; 16(6):1597-604. DOI:10.1007/s10461-011-0013-0 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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