Online Program

Sex partner characteristics and depression: What does this mean for HIV prevention?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Melissa Davey-Rothwell, PhD, CHES, Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Laura Murray, BS, Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Carl Latkin, PhD, Health, Behavior, and Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Vanya Jones, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: Sex partner characteristics, such as having an injecting partner or is HIV+, are associated with HIV risk and transmission. Limited research has explored the role that partners play on mental health. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between partners and depression in a sample 492 sexually active women. Methods: Participants, who were recruited through street outreach and referrals, completed a survey and received HIV testing. A network inventory was administered to measure social network members, including people they had sex with in the past 90 days. Results: The sample was predominantly African American (97%) with a mean age of 40.7 years (sd=8.2). Approximately 69% reported using drugs and 11% were HIV seropositive. About 59% of the sample (n=292) experienced depressive symptoms in the past week. Women who experienced depressive symptoms were more likely to have a partner who used drugs (49.3% vs. 36.0%, p<0.01); was HIV seropositive (13.0% vs. 7.2%, p<0.05) or was a man who had sex with other men (8.4% vs. 2.7%, p<0.001). In addition, depressed participants were less likely to have partners who provided financial support (38.0% vs. 47.5%, p<0.05), intangible assistance (i.e. ran errands, etc.) (32.2% vs. 44.0%, p<0.01), or socialized with (38.4% vs. 48.5%, p<0.025). There was a marginal association between depression and having a partner who provided emotional support (31.8% vs. 39.0. p<0.10). Conclusion: After controlling for individual factors, partner characteristics were associated with depression. These findings indicate a need for programs that integrate HIV prevention and mental health.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List items for measuring sexual network characteristics. Describe the association between partners and mental health.

Keyword(s): Mental Health, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a social scientist and my work focuses on high risk populations - which includes individuals and families living in low income urban communities where violence (both homicide and suicide) and substance use rates are higher than the national average. Among my scientific interests are interventions for urban adolescents and young adults to reduce their risks of engaging in high risk behaviors.
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.

Back to: 5008.0: HIV and mental health