Online Program

Racial/ethnic disparities in sexually transmitted infections among US young adults. - Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2012

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Ji Hyun Lee, MD, MPH, School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, RI
Nickolas Zaller, PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Don Operario, PhD, Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research, Brown University, School of Public Health, Providence, RI
Background: Racial/ethnic disparities in HIV and STIs among young adults in the United States are growing public health concerns. We used nationally representative data to assess the prevalence of biologically confirmed STIs and to examine racial/ethnic disparities among US young adults ages 20-39 years.

Methods: Data were analyzed from the 1999-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Young adults who had ever had sex (10,353) were included; 64.2% were white, 12.2% were Black, 17.6% were Hispanic and 6.1% were mixed/other race-ethnicity. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusting for sociodemographic variables were constructed to examine the associations between race/ethnicity and biologically confirmed and self-reported STIs.  All analyses were weighted to account for NHANES complex sampling design.

Results: Compared to Whites, Black young adults had significantly higher odds of testing positive for HIV (AOR=10.47, 95% CI=3.45-31.79), Urine Chlamydia (AOR=4.84, 95%CI=2.97-7.90), and HSV-2 (AOR=5.55, 95%CI=4.58-6.72), but had lower odds of testing positive for HCV (AOR=0.31, 95%CI=0.14-0.71). Hispanic young adults also were more likely to test positive for HIV (AOR=4.05, 95%CI=1.17-14.02), Urine Chlamydia (AOR=2.32, 95%CI=1.27-4.24), and HSV-2 (AOR=1.35, 95% CI=1.05-1.73) than Whites. Also, Black young adults were more likely to report getting tested for HIV (AOR=2.20, 95%CI=1.89-2.55), and to report having several STIs (gonorrhea AOR=5.68, 95%CI=2.25-14.33; chlamydia AOR=4.40, 95%CI=2.25-7.68; herpes AOR=1.58, 95%CI=1.14-2.18) compared with Whites.

Conclusions: Adjusting for sociodemographic factors, race/ethnicity was significantly associated with greater odds of HIV and STIs among Black and Hispanic young adults.  Findings highlight an urgent need to develop culturally appropriate interventions to address disparities in HIV and STIs.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the prevalence of biologically confirmed sexually transmitted infections including HIV among U.S. young adults ages 20 to 39. Assess racial/ethnic disparities in sexually transmitted infections among U.S. young adults.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in public health research for over 5 years. My research interests include health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities focused on HIV and STIs.
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.