220873 Correlates of Sexual Risk Behaviors among High School Students in Colorado: Analysis and Implications for School-based HIV/AIDS programs

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Stephen Nkansah Amankra, PhD, MPH, MA , Community Health Program, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
Abdoulaye Diedhiou, MD, MPH, MS, PhD , South Carolina Public Health Consortium, University of South Carolina, Columbia, Columbia, SC
Harry Agbanu, MPill , Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Curtis Harrod, BSc , Community Health Program, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
Ashish Dhawan, MD, MSPH , Resident Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ
Objectives: To examine correlates of sexual risk behaviors associated with HIV/AIDS infection among adolescents participating in the 2005 Colorado Youth Behavioral Risk Survey, since previous studies have produced mixed findings. Methods: Multinomial logistic regression assessed relationships among dependent variables (sexual risk behaviors, age at first sex, and number of sexual partners in the past 3 months) and independent variables (in-school HIV/AIDS education, use of illegal substances, physically-forced sex, and alcohol use). Results: We found no significant effect of having received in-school HIV/AIDS education on all outcome measure. Compared with females, males were more likely to initiate sex at a relatively younger age, report unprotected sex with multiple partners, and drink alcohol before sexual intercourse. Among females, using 2 illegal substances increased to 12 times the odds of early sexual debut while using ≥3 substances increased the same odds to 44-fold. Likewise, binge drinking was also associated with higher odds of having multiple partners. Hispanic ethnicity and being physically forced for sex were consistently associated with high risk sexual behaviors, early sexual initiation, and increased number of sexual partners. Conclusions: Efforts to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic among adolescents may need to focus on targeted interventions aimed at addressing gender- and racial/ethnic-specific risk exposures among this population group, including risk behaviors linked with lifetime sexual abuse. The need to re-examine the role of in-school HIV prevention programs to build adequate competencies among students, parents and community leaders to reduce risk exposures associated with HIV/AIDS infection among youth is emphasized.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the extent to which a school-based HIV/AIDS is effective in preventing antecedent HIV risks among a cohort of adolescent population. 2. Assess most important antecedent risk factors among adolescents receiving in-school HIV/AIDS education 3. Identify practice-based strategies for improving HIV/AIDS education in elementary and high schools across the state.

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Colorado, teaching graduate level Epidemiology and Environmental Health. I have previously presented at APHA annual conferences.
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.