Condom use and HIV risk behaviors among U.S. adults: data from a national survey.
CONTEXT: How much condom use among U.S. adults varies by type of partner or by risk behavior is unclear. Knowledge of such differentials would aid in evaluating the progress being made toward goals for levels of condom use as part of the Healthy People 2000 initiative. METHODS: Data were analyzed from the 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, an annual household-based probability sample of the noninstitutionalized population aged 12 and older that measures the use of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The personal behaviors module included 25 questions covering sexual activity in the past year, frequency of condom use in the past year, circumstances of the last sexual encounter and HIV testing. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of adults reported using a condom at last intercourse outside of an ongoing relationship, while only 19% reported using condoms when the most recent intercourse occurred within a steady relationship. Within ongoing relationships, condom use was highest among respondents who were younger, black, of lower income and from large metropolitan areas. Forty percent of unmarried adults used a condom at last sex, compared with the health objective of 50% for the year 2000. Forty percent of injecting drug users used condoms at last intercourse, compared with the 60% condom use objective for high-risk individuals. Significantly, persons at increased risk for HIV because of their sexual behavior or drug use were not more likely to use condoms than were persons not at increased risk; only 22% used condoms during last intercourse within an ongoing relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial progress has been made toward national goals for increasing condom use. The rates of condom use by individuals at high risk of HIV need to be increased, however, particularly condom use with a steady partner. (+info)
Risky single-occasion drinking amongst young people--definition, correlates, policy, and intervention: a broad overview of research findings.
Risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD) has dire consequences upon health and well-being including unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, crime, and car accidents. The prevalence of RSOD among young people is alarming. Despite this, as yet, a review of existing literature on RSOD amongst young people is lacking. This article will provide an overview of this area of research focusing on the definition of RSOD, its prevalence among young people, health and behavioural effects of RSOD, the perceived risk of RSOD among young people, and interventions to reduce RSOD in young people. In addition, recommendations are made for health educators interested in reducing the incidence of RSOD in young people. (+info)
Do tailored behavior change messages enhance the effectiveness of health risk appraisal? Results from a randomized trial.
Health risk appraisal (HRA) remains one of the most widely used health promotion tools despite only equivocal evidence for its effectiveness. Theories of behavior change predict conventional HRA's ineffectiveness because risk information alone is seldom sufficient to change complex behaviors. In this study, a randomized trial compared the effects of feedback from an enhanced HRA with a typical HRA and a control group among adult patients from eight family medicine practices. The enhanced HRA assessed behavior-specific psychosocial factors and provided patients with computer-generated, individually-tailored behavior change information in addition to typical HRA risk feedback. Changes in seven behaviors were assessed at a 6 month follow-up. Overall, patients receiving enhanced HRA feedback were 18% more likely to change at least one risk behavior than were patients receiving typical HRA feedback or no feedback (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.00, 1.39). The enhanced HRA feedback appeared to promote changes in cholesterol screening, dietary fat consumption and physical activity, but not in smoking, seat belt use, mammography and Pap smears. We conclude that the addition of theory-based, individually-tailored behavior change information may improve the effectiveness of HRA. (+info)
Loud, sad or bad: young people's perceptions of peer groups and smoking.
This paper suggests that most 13 year olds and many 11 year olds have a clear and detailed grasp of their own social map, recognize the pecking order which is established amongst their peers and are aware of the different levels of risk-taking behaviour, including smoking, adopted by different peer groups in their school year. Thirty six 11 year olds and 40 13 year olds took part in the study. Their remarkably consistent views about which pupils adopt or reject smoking are closely related to their perceptions of their social map. Their accounts differentiate top girls, top boys, middle pupils, low-status pupils, trouble-makers and loners, associating smoking behaviour consistently with three of the five groups--the top girls, the low-status pupils and the trouble makers. Top boys, although sharing many of the characteristics of top girls, have an added protection factor--their keen interest in football and physical fitness. From their descriptions, it is apparent that different groups of pupils smoke for different reasons which are related to pecking order and group membership. The implications of these young people's views for health education programmes to prevent smoking and other risk-taking behaviours are far reaching. (+info)
Psychosocial correlates of health compromising behaviors among adolescents.
The objective of the present study was to examine psychosocial correlates of diverse health-compromising behaviors among adolescents of different ages. The study population included 123,132 adolescents in sixth, ninth and 12th grades. Psychosocial correlates of substance abuse, delinquency, suicide risk, sexual activity and unhealthy weight loss behaviors were examined. Risk-taking disposition was significantly associated with nearly every behavior across age and gender groups. Other consistent correlates included sexual abuse and family connectedness. Correlates of health-compromising behaviors tended to be consistent across age groups. However, stronger associations were noted between sexual abuse and substance use for younger adolescents, and risk-taking disposition and school achievement were stronger correlates for older youth. The results suggest the presence of both common and unique etiological factors for different health-compromising behaviors among youth. The results emphasize the importance of focusing on positive 'risk-taking' experiences for youth in prevention programs; being sensitive to possible sexual abuse experiences among both female and male adolescents in health-care consultations; integrating strategies for improved family connectedness into health promotion efforts; and making school relevant for all adolescents. (+info)
Protecting paradise: tourism and AIDS in the Dominican Republic.
This study summarizes results from six data collection instruments administered to tourists, hotel workers, and commercial sex workers (CSWs) in the Dominican Republic (D.R.). The objective of this study was to assess: 1. how HIV/AIDS may affect tourism; 2. how tourists are likely to react to prevention campaigns; and 3. how tourism may affect the spread of HIV/AIDS. It was found that an overwhelming proportion of tourists did not consider the prevalence of HIV to be a factor when making their travel plans, and that most did not consider themselves at greater risk of becoming infected while on holiday than when they were at home. This study determined that the spread of HIV/AIDS was unlikely to affect the demand for tourism services in the D.R. The study also found that most tourists would respond positively to an HIV/AIDS prevention campaign and would not be discouraged from visiting the D.R. because of such campaigns. Those most receptive to prevention efforts were also those who felt they were at highest risk, according to study data. Finally, it was determined that while most tourists probably do not engage in high risk activities, there were some male and female tourists who do engage in sexual encounters with multiple Dominican CSWs and hotel employees. These encounters represent a risk to the health and economic development of the D.R., as well as to tourists and their other sexual partners. Based on these findings, it is recommended that in order to minimize the potential social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS in the D.R., prevention messages need to reach a number of groups which have not yet been adequately targeted. These groups include tourists, with a special emphasis on 'sex tourists', and hotel employees, with a special emphasis on entertainment staff. (+info)
The role of medical problems and behavioral risks in explaining patterns of prenatal care use among high-risk women.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between maternal medical conditions and behavioral risks and the patterns of prenatal care use among high-risk women. DATA SOURCE/STUDY DESIGN: Data on over 25,000 high-risk deliveries to African American and white women using multinomial logistic regression to predict the odds of adequate-plus care relative to three other categories of care. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Data were extracted from records maintained by the University of Florida/Shands Hospital maternity clinic on all deliveries between 1987 and 1994; records for white and for African American women were subset to examine racial differences in medical conditions, health behaviors, and patterns of prenatal care use. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Net of sociodemographic and fertility-related characteristics, African American and white women with late antepartum conditions and hypertension problems had significantly higher odds of receiving adequate-plus care, as well as no care or inadequate care, relative to adequate care. White women with gynecological disease and medical/surgical problems were significantly less likely to receive no care or inadequate care, as were African American women with gynecological disease. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal medical conditions explain much but not all of the adequate-plus prenatal care use. More than 13 percent of African American women and 20 percent of white women with no reported medical problems or behavioral risks used adequate-plus care. Additional research is needed to understand this excess use and its possibilities in mediating birth outcomes. (+info)
Prevalence of hepatitis C in prisons: WASH-C surveillance linked to self-reported risk behaviours.
We used cross-sectional willing anonymous salivary hepatitis C (WASH-C) surveillance linked to self-completed risk-factor questionnaires to estimate the prevalence of salivary hepatitis C antibodies (HepCAbS) in five Scottish prisons from 1994 to 1996. Of 2121 available inmates, 1864 (88%) participated and 1532/1864 (82%) stored samples were suitable for testing. Overall 311/1532 (20.3%, prevalence 95% CI 18.3-22.3%) were HepCAbS-positive: 265/536 (49%, 95% CI 45-54%) injector-inmates but only 27/899 (3%, 95% CI 2-4%) non-injector-inmates. Among injectors, HepCAbS positivity was only slightly higher (p = 0.03) in those who had injected inside prison (53%, 162/305) than in those who had not (44%, 98/224). Those who began injecting in 1992-96 were much less likely to be HepCAbS-positive than those who started pre-1992 (31%, 35/114 vs. 55%, 230/422; p < 0.001). Even with injectors who began in 1992-96 but had never injected inside prison, the prevalence of hepatitis C carriage was 17/63 (95% CI 16-38%). The prevalence and potential transmissibility of hepatitis C in injector-inmates are both high. Promoting 'off injecting' before 'off drugs' (both inside and outside prison), methadone prescription during short incarcerations, alternatives to prison, and support of HepCAbS-positive inmates in becoming eligible for treatment, all warrant urgent consideration. (+info)