Do People Really Know Their Sex Partners?

University of California, San Diego, California, USA.
Sex Transm Dis (Impact Factor: 2.84). 08/2004; 31(7):437-42. DOI: 10.1097/01.OLQ.0000129949.30114.37
Source: PubMed


An individual's risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been associated empirically with the individual having concurrent sexual partners (individual's concurrency) and, theoretically, with the individual's partner having concurrent partners (partner's concurrency).
The goals of this study were to assess the relationship of STI to individual's concurrency, the partner's concurrency, and awareness of the partner's concurrency.
We recruited 192 individuals aged 18 to 30 from sexually transmitted disease and family planning clinics in 96 partner dyads that reported first sexual contact during the previous 3 months. All individuals underwent computer interviews and testing for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Individuals' self-reports of concurrency and perceptions of partners' concurrency were compared within dyads by kappa statistic; associations of STI with individual's concurrency, partner's concurrency, and knowledge of partner's concurrency were examined using chi-squared analysis, t tests, and multivariate logistic regression.
Only 26% of individuals whose partners had other partners were aware of this (kappa = 0.17 for agreement of perceptions vs. partners' reports of concurrency). In multivariate models, STI in individuals was independently associated with partners' concurrency (odds ratio [OR], 3.6), lack of awareness of partner's concurrency (OR, 4.5), perceiving a partner to have concurrent partners when the partner did not (OR, 4.7), living in south San Diego, and sexual contact within 1 week of acquaintance, but not with individuals' concurrency.
This study demonstrates that STI is associated with partner's concurrency and with not knowing one's partner's behavior.

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    • "For some women, perceptions of commitment may be inaccurate or may fluctuate over time, potentially introducing a source of risk (Arriaga, Reed, Goodfriend, & Agnew, 2006; Drumright, Gorbach, & Holmes, 2004; Matson et al., 2012; Witte et al., 2010). Other women may recognize risks but place a higher priority on the emotional needs that are satisfied by the relationship and consider unprotected sex to be " worth the risk " (Corbett et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Women who abuse substances are at a high-risk for contracting HIV. Condom use interventions are important in 10 reducing HIV in high-risk populations, but current interventions have small effects. The aim of this study is to examine the relative impact of substance use, personal variables (sexual impulsivity and condom expectancies), and relationship variables (perceptions of relationship commitment and partner risk, perceptions of power within the relationship) on condom use in women in court-mandated substance abuse treatment. Information was collected from 312 sexually active women in an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility in the Southeastern US Participants completed questionnaires 15 and were interviewed using the Timeline Follow-back method and provided information about sexual activity in the 30 days prior to intake, including type of sexual event, co-occurrence with substance use, condom use, and characteristics of sexual partners and the nature of the relationship. Multilevel logistic modeling revealed that perception of relationship commitment, condom outcome expectancies, and age significantly affected condom use for women in the sample. Specifically, condom use was least likely when women reported that the relationship was committed (odds ratio [OR] = 20 0.31, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.23, 0.43) or when the participant was older (OR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.94, 0.99), and more likely when women reported more positive condom outcome expectancies (OR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.03). The findings suggest that perceptions of relationship commitment, regardless of perceptions of partner risk, strongly affect condom use among women court-mandated into drug and alcohol treatment. In addition, positive outcome expectancies (e.g., positive self-evaluations and perceived positive partner reactions) are associated with a greater likelihood of 25 condom use. These findings have important implications for condom use interventions, which have failed to produce large or lasting effects within this population.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · AIDS Care
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    • "Not knowing one’s sex partner well enough increases the risk of exposure to an STI. Studies demonstrate that STIs are associated with not being familiar with partner’s behaviour [40,41]. In the analysed sample, individuals who had known their partner at FI for a between a month and over a year predominated. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Up-to-date, genuine sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education programmes have been possible in Romania only since communism collapsed in 1990. Since 2006, Romania has had no national strategy in this field. Under current global circumstances (high labour mobility, internationally mixed marriages), issues previously considered solely national have become worldwide concerns. Methods In 2011–2012, 1215 respondents homogeneously distributed on background, gender, educational level and age group (18–74) were sampled. This article uses a 96-item questionnaire about family and SRH, presenting results on nine items: first intercourse (FI), virginity, knowing first sexual partner, safe sex, number of sexual partners and sexual education. The data were analysed using Pearson chi-square tests and latent class analysis. Results Some participants (7.2%) engaged in FI at age 15 or earlier. The average age at FI was lower for men (18.08), for individuals with a lower education level (18.07) and for those in rural areas (18.27), compared with that for women, those with more education and those in urban areas, respectively. The average age at FI was over 2.5 years lower for people aged 18–24 (16.99) than for those aged 60–74 (p < 0.001). More than 60% were not married or partnered with their FI partner, and 17.8% engaged in FI less than a month after meeting their partner. Less than one-fourth practiced safe sex at FI, with higher proportions for the urban sample, those with an average level of education and those aged 18–35 (p < 0.001). Higher average numbers of sexual partners were found among men (6.56, compared with 2.37 among women), in urban areas (5.07, compared with 3.75 in rural areas) and among those with higher levels of education (p < 0.005). On average, subjects first received information on SRH at 15.39 years of age, with only 10% listing the school, doctors or medics as a source. Conclusions Unsafe sex, early initiation of sexual activity and poor SRH education from schools, experts and parents require a multidisciplinary approach within prevention programmes, especially among the populations at risk: rural residents, those with low levels of education and youth.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Reproductive Health
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    • "When one or both individuals in a regular sexual partnership maintain other sexual partners simultaneously (i.e., concurrent partners), risk for HIV transmission is increased [12] [13]. Engaging in multiple or concurrent partnerships has also been associated with the acquisition of STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and bacterial STIs [14] [15] [16] [17]. Simulation studies have demonstrated that HIV/STI-positive persons who have concurrent partnerships are at risk of transmitting infection to different partners at the same time, and suggest that even small reductions in levels of partner concurrency may have a dramatic impact on HIV/STI transmission through sexual networks in some populations [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Belize has the highest rates of HIV infection in Central America and is experiencing a genera-lized epidemic. The Garífuna, a minority ethnic population, is at risk for HIV. This study uses survey data from Garífuna men and women to examine the frequency of multiple partnerships as well as sociodemographic characteristics and behavioral constructs correlated with hav-ing multiple partners. A high proportion of re-spondents reported having multiple partners, but rates were significantly higher for men, and men had a higher mean number of partners than women. A high proportion of respondents re-ported having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the last year, with more men reporting a history of STIs than women. Regression results show the importance of improving men and women's perceived susceptibility for HIV and encouraging them to know their HIV status. Re-inforcing a social norm for partner reduction would also benefit men. Study findings support the need for HIV counseling and testing in Garí-funa communities as well as STI prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This study demon-strates that reducing multiple partnerships among Garífuna men and women is critical for reducing the spread of HIV in Belize.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Health
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