200917 Gender differences in HIV risk among urban African American youth attending an alternative education program

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monique E. Wilson, DrPH , Social Research Center, Friends Research Institute, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Steven B. Carswell, PhD , Social Research Center, Friends Research Institute, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Thomas E. Hanlon, PhD , Social Research Center, Friends Research Institute, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Kevin E. O'Grady, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Amy M. Watts, MA , Social Research Center, Friends Research Institute, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Tameca N. Jackson, MSW , Social Research Center, Friends Research Institute, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Background: Relatively little is known about the sexual practices of urban African American youth who attend alternative education programs (AEPs). The information available indicates that compared to regular school students, students in AEPs are more likely to have higher rates of involvement in risky behaviors including early engagement in sexual intercourse, frequency of participation in risky sexual behaviors, a high number of sexual partners, and high rates of unprotected sex. The present study examined gender differences in sexual practices among high-risk urban African American youth who attend AEPs.

Methods: To assess the relationship between gender and risky sexual behaviors, baseline self-report data obtained from male and female African American AEP youth who participated in a study evaluating the effectiveness of a supplemental preventive intervention was examined.

Results: Of the 222 study participants, 109 of 155 males (70%) and 33 of 67 females (49%) reported having had sexual intercourse. Male students reported earlier onset of sexual intercourse (age M =11.74 1.69) than females (age M = 12.67 1.16). Among the 109 sexually active males, 72 (66%) reported having had 4 or more sexual partners compared to 9 of 33 (27%) sexually active females. Other identified gender-related characteristics of sexually active AEP participants are discussed.

Conclusions: It is important to take into consideration sexual practice differences between AEP males and females in targeting future HIV prevention efforts.

Learning Objectives:
Examine gender differences in sexual practices among high-risk urban African American youth who attend alternative education programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctoral degree in Public Health and I have worked at a social research center for several years. As such I have been exposed to the processes involved in conducting and presenting research. I have presented at APHA as well as at other professional meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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