Correlates of sexually transmitted bacterial infections among U.S. women in 1995.
CONTEXT: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of bacterial origin such as gonorrhea and chlamydial infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. Identifying behaviors and characteristics associated with infection may assist in preventing these often asymptomatic diseases and their sequelae. METHODS: Data from 9,882 sexually active women who participated in the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth describe the characteristics of women who report a history of infection with a bacterial STD or of treatment for PID. Multivariate analysis is used to determine which demographic characteristics and sexual and health-related behaviors affect the likelihood of infection or the occurrence of complications. RESULTS: Overall, 6% of sexually active women reported a history of a bacterial STD, and 8% reported a history of PID. Women who first had sexual intercourse before age 15 were nearly four times as likely to report a bacterial STD, and more than twice as likely to report PID, as were women who first had sex after age 18. Having more than five lifetime sexual partners also was associated with both having an STD and having PID. PID was more common among women reporting a history of a bacterial STD (23%) than among women who reported no such history (7%). In multivariate analyses, age, race, age at first intercourse and lifetime number of sexual partners had a significant effect on the risk of a bacterial STD. Education, age, a history of IUD use, douching and a history of a bacterial STD had a significant impact on the risk of PID, but early onset of intercourse did not, and lifetime number of partners had only a marginal effect. CONCLUSIONS: The pattern of characteristics and behaviors that place women at risk of infection with bacterial STDs is not uniform among groups of women. Further, the level of self-reported PID would suggest higher rates of gonorrhea and chlamydial infection than reported. (+info)
Women's interest in vaginal microbicides.
CONTEXT: Each year, an estimated 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, occur in the United States. Women are not only at a disadvantage because of their biological and social susceptibility, but also because of the methods that are available for prevention. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 1,000 women aged 18-44 in the continental United States who had had sex with a man in the last 12 months were interviewed by telephone. Analyses identified levels and predictors of women's worry about STDs and interest in vaginal microbicides, as well as their preferences regarding method characteristics. Numbers of potential U.S. microbicide users were estimated. RESULTS: An estimated 21.3 million U.S. women have some potential current interest in using a microbicidal product. Depending upon product specifications and cost, as many as 6.0 million women who are worried about getting an STD would be very interested in current use of a microbicide. These women are most likely to be unmarried and not cohabiting, of low income and less education, and black or Hispanic. They also are more likely to have visited a doctor for STD symptoms or to have reduced their sexual activity because of STDs, to have a partner who had had other partners in the past year, to have no steady partner or to have ever used condoms for STD prevention. CONCLUSIONS: A significant minority of women in the United States are worried about STDs and think they would use vaginal microbicides. The development, testing and marketing of such products should be expedited. (+info)
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)
Risk factors for abnormal anal cytology in young heterosexual women.
Although anal cancers are up to four times more common in women than men, little is known about the natural history of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and HPV-related anal lesions in women. This study reports on the prevalence of and risks for anal cytological abnormalities over a 1-year period in a cohort of young women participating in a study of the natural history of cervical HPV infection. In addition to their regularly scheduled sexual behavior interviews and cervical testing, consenting women received anal HPV DNA and cytological testing. Anal cytology smears were obtained from 410 women whose mean age was 22.5 +/- 2.5 years at the onset of the study. Sixteen women (3.9%) were found to have abnormal anal cytology: 4 women had low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) or condyloma; and 12 women had atypical cells of undetermined significance. Factors found to be significantly associated with abnormal anal cytology were a history of anal sex [odds ratio (OR), 6.90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.7-47.2], a history of cervical SILs (OR, 4.13; 95% CI, 1.3-14.9), and a current anal HPV infection (OR, 12.28; 95% CI, 3.9-43.5). The strong association between anal intercourse and the development of HPV-induced SILs supports the role of sexual transmission of HPV in anal SILs. Young women who had engaged in anal intercourse or had a history of cervical SILs were found to be at highest risk. (+info)
Sexual behaviour and papillomavirus exposure in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: a population-based case-control study.
Sexual history is an established risk determinant for cervical neoplasia. It is not clear if human papillomavirus (HPV) exposure entirely explains the sexual behaviour-related risk or if other sexually transmitted agents may act as cofactors for HPV in carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether HPV exposure or HPV persistence explains the sexual history-related risk of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) using a population-based case-control study of most of the 254 women referred to colposcopy in the Vasterbotten county in Sweden because of an abnormal cervical smear during October 1993 to December 1995 and 320 age-matched women from the general population. The women were interviewed for sexual history and tested for presence of serum antibodies to HPV-16, -18 and -33 as well as for presence of HPV DNA in cervical brush samples. HPV-16, -18 and -33 seropositivity was specific for the corresponding type of HPV DNA, dependent on the lifetime sexual history and associated with a two- to threefold increased risk of CIN 3. There was no sexual history-related risk of CIN among HPV-seropositive women and adjustment for HPV DNA presence explained the sexual history-related risk of CIN. In conclusion, HPV exposure appeared to explain the sexual history-related risk of high-grade CIN. (+info)
Impact of market value on human mate choice decisions.
Mate choice strategies are a process of negotiation in which individuals make bids that are constrained by their status in the market place. Humans provide an unusual perspective on this because we can measure their explicitly expressed preferences before they are forced to make any choices. We use advertisements placed in newspaper personal columns to examine, first, the extent to which evolutionary considerations affect the level of competition (or market value) during the reproductively active period of people's lives and, second, the extent to which market value influences individual's willingness to make strong demands of prospective mates. We show that female market value is determined principally by women's fecundity (and, to a lesser extent, reproductive value), while male market value is determined by men's earning potential and the risk of future pairbond termination (the conjoint probability that the male will either die or divorce his partner during the next 20 years). We then show that these selection preferences strongly influence the levels of demands that men and women make of prospective partners (although older males tend to overestimate their market value). (+info)
Safer sex strategies for women: the hierarchical model in methadone treatment clinics.
Women clients of a methadone maintenance treatment clinic were targeted for an intervention aimed to reduce unsafe sex. The hierarchical model was the basis of the single intervention session, tested among 63 volunteers. This model requires the educator to discuss and demonstrate a full range of barriers that women might use for protection, ranking these in the order of their known efficacy. The model stresses that no one should go without protection. Two objections, both untested, have been voiced against the model. One is that, because of its complexity, women will have difficulty comprehending the message. The second is that, by demonstrating alternative strategies to the male condom, the educator is offering women a way out from persisting with the male condom, so that instead they will use an easier, but less effective, method of protection. The present research aimed at testing both objections in a high-risk and disadvantaged group of women. By comparing before and after performance on a knowledge test, it was established that, at least among these women, the complex message was well understood. By comparing baseline and follow-up reports of barriers used by sexually active women before and after intervention, a reduction in reports of unsafe sexual encounters was demonstrated. The reduction could be attributed directly to adoption of the female condom. Although some women who had used male condoms previously adopted the female condom, most of those who did so had not used the male condom previously. Since neither theoretical objection to the hierarchical model is sustained in this population, fresh weight is given to emphasizing choice of barriers, especially to women who are at high risk and relatively disempowered. As experience with the female condom grows and its unfamiliarity decreases, it would seem appropriate to encourage women who do not succeed with the male condom to try to use the female condom, over which they have more control. (+info)
Lifetime prevalence, characteristics, and associated problems of non-consensual sex in men: cross sectional survey.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the lifetime prevalence of non-consensual sexual experiences in men, the relationship between such experiences as a child and as an adult, associated psychological and behavioural problems, and help received. DESIGN: Cross sectional survey. SETTING: England. SUBJECTS: 2474 men (mean age 46 years) attending one of 18 general practices. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Experiences of non-consensual and consensual sex before and after the age of 16 years-that is, as a child and adult respectively-psychological problems experienced for more than 2 weeks at any one time, use of alcohol (CAGE questionnaire), self harm, and help received. RESULTS: 2474 of 3142 men (79%) agreed to participate; 71/2468 (standardised rate 2.89%, 95% confidence interval 2.21% to 3.56%) reported non-consensual sexual experiences as adults, 128/2423 (5.35%, 4.39% to 6.31%) reported non-consensual sexual experiences as children, and 185/2406 (7.66%, 6.54% to 8.77%) reported consensual sexual experiences as children that are illegal under English law. Independent predictors of non-consensual sex as adults were reporting male sexual partners (odds ratio 6.0, 2.6 to 13.5), non-consensual sex in childhood (4.2, 2.1 to 8.6), age (0.98, 0.96 to 0.99), and sex of interviewer (2.0, 1.2 to 3.5). Non-consensual sexual experiences were associated with a greater prevalence of psychological problems, alcohol misuse, and self harm. These sexual experiences were also significant predictors of help received from mental health professionals. CONCLUSION: Almost 3% of men in England report non-consensual sexual experiences as adults. Medical professionals need to be aware of the range of psychological difficulties in men who have had such experiences. They also need to be aware of the relationship between sexual experiences in childhood and adulthood in men. (+info)