January 4, 2012
Few studies have examined the associations of illicit drug use with risky sexual behaviors among people of reproductive ages, using a control group of non-users.
Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth were used to assess associations between outcomes related to sexual behaviors and reproductive health, and marijuana and cocaine use. A total of 4,928 men and 7,643 women ages 15-44 were interviewed. "Chi-square tests, t tests and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used; in supplementary analyses, men and women were stratified by age group (25 or younger, and older than 25), to capture the understudied older adults who use drugs," the team wrote.
Use of marijuana or cocaine in the previous year was reported by 27 percent of men and 16 percent of women. "Drug users were younger than non-users at first vaginal sex (mean, 15.2-16.1 vs. 17.3-17.5) and were more likely to have engaged in risky sexual behaviors during the last year, including having had sex with a non-monogamous partner (odds ratios, 3.3-5.2 for men and 2.9-6.5 for women), while high on alcohol or drugs (10.1-18.0 and 8.1-24.2), or in exchange for money or drugs (2.7-2.8 and 2.3-9.2)," the authors reported. Drug users also were more likely to have undergone STD testing or treatment. Drug use was associated with risky sexual behaviors in both age groups.
"Programs aimed at reducing sexual risks among drug users should address the behaviors of men and women of all reproductive ages," the study concluded.
Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health
09.2011; Vol. 43; No. 3; Marleen M.H.J. van Gelder, Jennita Reefhuis, Anne M. Herron, Mark L. Williams, Nel Roeleveld
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