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)
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 of testicular cancer in subfertile men: case-control study.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between subfertility in men and the subsequent risk of testicular cancer. DESIGN: Population based case-control study. SETTING: The Danish population. PARTICIPANTS: Cases were identified in the Danish Cancer Registry; controls were randomly selected from the Danish population with the computerised Danish Central Population Register. Men were interviewed by telephone; 514 men with cancer and 720 controls participated. OUTCOME MEASURE: Occurrence of testicular cancer. RESULTS: A reduced risk of testicular cancer was associated with paternity (relative risk 0.63; 95% confidence interval 0.47 to 0.85). In men who before the diagnosis of testicular cancer had a lower number of children than expected on the basis of their age, the relative risk was 1.98 (1.43 to 2.75). There was no corresponding protective effect associated with a higher number of children than expected. The associations were similar for seminoma and non-seminoma and were not influenced by adjustment for potential confounding factors. CONCLUSION: These data are consistent with the hypothesis that male subfertility and testicular cancer share important aetiological factors. (+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)
Factors related to choosing oral contraception at age 15.
This report aims to identify factors which are related to use of oral contraceptives at an early age. A self-administered questionnaire was completed at schools in 1988 and 1992 in southern and western Finland (N = 1339). Sexually experienced girls (mean age 15.8 years) who had answered the question concerning their oral contraceptive use were included (N = 389). Logistic regression analysis was used to compare oral contraceptive users (N = 121) with the group of non-users. Total number of coital experiences was associated with oral contraceptive use: the odds ratio for those having at least 10 coital experiences was 6.30 compared with those with only one intercourse. The proportion was 73% among oral contraceptive users and 30% among non-users. Girls using oral contraceptives perceived more often (67%) that parents accept their sexual relationship (30% among non-users). Oral contraceptive users were less afraid of getting pregnant (9% compared with 31% among non-users) and felt more often that sex was very important in their life (31 and 13%, respectively). Other factors that entered the model were age at menarche, having a steady partner and frequency of disco visits. When a young girl asks for oral contraceptives, she is probably at true risk of pregnancy, and regular contraception should be considered both in view of effective prevention of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. (+info)
Confidentiality and HIV status in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: implications, resistances and challenges.
This article provides a contextualized comparison and analysis of the former Kwazulu and the new Kwazulu-Natal policy documents on HIV confidentiality, the differing practices within the region, and their implications for support and gender. It is based on interviews with key players in the regional NACOSA (National AIDS Convention of South Africa), and participation in meetings between August and November 1995. The main division is between those influenced by other rural African models, especially the Zambian concept of "shared confidentiality' as a way of ensuring support, and who have gone on to develop more community-based practices to destigmatize the disease, in contrast with the stronger emphasis in the new document on individual rights, assuming a more urban constituency, and where "shared confidentiality' is much more circumscribed. One of the difficulties of the new policy in which "confidentiality' is interpreted as "secrecy', is that it would seem to foreclose and neutralize lay and community support, as distinct from the earlier and unacknowledged policy of former Kwazulu. It also seeks to provide an enhanced role for professional counsellors. This psychologizing of the infection and the distancing from "community', and from women's groups, is surprising in a country in whose townships "community' remains a powerful motivating symbol, and where NGOs and peer groups have been identified everywhere as central to effective HIV/AIDS related prevention, care and support for behavior change. (+info)
Patient referral outcome in gonorrhoea and chlamydial infections.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the outcome of patient referral at the STD clinic of the University Hospital Rotterdam. To study characteristics of heterosexual index patients and partnerships related to referral outcome. METHODS: In 1994, patients with gonorrhoea and chlamydia were referred to public health nurses for interview and patient referral. Referral outcome was classified as "verified" if partners attended the STD clinic and as "believed" if partners were said to have attended elsewhere. RESULTS: Of 454 patients, 250 (55%) participated in the study. The outcome of patient referral for the 502 eligible partners was 103 (20.5%) verified referrals, 102 (20%) believed referrals, and 297 (59%) with unknown follow up. Of the 103 partners examined, 43 had an STD of which 63% reported no symptoms. The contact finding ratio was higher for chlamydia patients and heterosexual men. Also, referral was more effective for index patients with recent sexual contact, with follow up visits to the public health nurse, for men who were not commercial sex worker (CSW) clients, and, to a lesser degree, for Dutch patients and patients who sometimes used condoms. For steady partners, referral was improved if the last sexual contact was more recent. Casual partners visited the clinic more often if sexual contact occurred more than once, if the last contact was more recent, if they were older, and if they were Dutch. CONCLUSIONS: Patient referral was more effective for certain groups, such as chlamydia patients and steady partners, but was inadequate for others, including CSW and their clients, other "one night stands", young partners, and ethnic minorities. (+info)
Effectiveness of patient delivered partner medication for preventing recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if providing Chlamydia trachomatis infected women with medication to deliver to their sex partner(s) could reduce recurrent chlamydia infections compared with the standard partner referral method. STUDY DESIGN: A observational cohort study of 178 women, 14-39 years old attending a family planning clinic, diagnosed and treated for C trachomatis between October 1993 and December 1994 was conducted (43 received patient delivered partner medication (PDPM) and 135 received partner referral cards). Women were retested before or at their annual visit. RESULTS: The mean time of follow up was 17.7 months (SD 7.7). The PDPM group (n = 43) was similar to partner referral group (n = 135) for age, race, contraceptive method, history of an STD, and follow up time. The annual recurrent infection rate was lower among the PDPM group compared with the partner referral group (11.5% v 25.5%, p < 0.05). After adjusting for age in logistic regression, women in the PDPM group were less likely than women in the partner referral group to have an incident C trachomatis infection (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15-0.97, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that patient delivered partner medication can protect women from recurrent C trachomatis infection compared with the standard partner referral approach. Prospective studies with larger sample sizes are under way. (+info)