Issue: October 2011
October 01, 2011
1 min read

Targeted STI intervention strategies urged for youth with HIV

Setse RW. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2011;doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e3182326779.

Issue: October 2011
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Risk reduction interventions that specifically target adolescents with HIV are needed to reduce sexually transmitted infections, according to a study published online this month.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the CDC reported on data from the Longitudinal Epidemiologic Study to Gain Insight into HIV/AIDS in Children and Youth (LEGACY). The study compiled data on sexual behaviors from medical records of both perinatally and behaviorally infected youth with HIV.

According to the researchers, 195 of 571 (34%) youths who contracted HIV perinatally and 162 of 181 (89%) who contracted HIV through behaviors were currently sexually active. They said although most of the sexually active youth in the study reported ever using condoms, there were certain factors that made these adolescents more likely to be sexually active; specifically, having a boyfriend or girlfriend, injection drug use and being older in age.

They also said adolescents who were perinatally infected were less likely than behaviorally exposed youths to be sexually active, but these youth are often developmentally delayed and often reach sexual debut later than their peers.

The 10% prevalence of STIs in the study’s cohort is much lower than the prevalence of similar STI rates reported among the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. However, because these youth often are frequently seeing medical personnel, they are a population that can be easily reached with safe-sex messages, according to the researchers.

“Continued research is needed to identify effective behavioral interventions to decrease likelihood of secondary sexual transmission among both behaviorally and perinatally HIV-infected youth,” they wrote.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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