July 26, 2011
According to previous studies, "racial/ethnic and gender disparities in [HIV/STI] may be due in part to factors such a poverty and income-inequality," wrote the authors, who noted the scarcity of published research on "the effect of the perception of having unmet basic needs on sexual risk behavior."
Data were collected on perceived financial need and sexual risk as part of a behavioral intervention aimed at promoting STI partner notification and reducing sexual behavior among minority patients presenting for care at one of two STI treatment centers in Brooklyn, N.Y., between January 2002 and December 2004. Data from 528 patients obtained at the six-month follow-up visit were used for the current study.
Among participants, 43 percent were categorized as having unmet needs. These individuals were more likely (62 percent) to report unprotected anal or vaginal sex (UAVI) compared to those who had met needs (53 percent). After controlling for age, sex, site of recruitment, intervention group membership and country of origin, this association was found to be significant: adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.28; 95 percent confidence interval (CI)=1.04-1.53.
Stratified analyses found that, in the group that did not receive the intervention, there was a statistically significant interaction between sex and basic needs such that women with unmet needs were more likely to report any UAVI (78 percent) than those with met needs (AOR=1.18; 95 percent CI=1.07-1.24). This relationship was not detected for the men in this sample.
"The significant association between perceived unmet needs and UAVI appears to be particularly relevant for women," the authors concluded. "These findings provide preliminary evidence that HIV/STI intervention components that seek to directly deal with issues of reduction in partner conflict might be beneficial to women with high perceived unmet basic needs, and for whom a potential dissolution of a relationship may represent a further loss in ability to meet basic needs."
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
03.2011; Vol. 38; No. 3: P. 230-234; Rebecca M. Schwartz, and others
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