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The Role of Depressive Symptoms in Predicting Sex With Multiple and High-Risk Partners

Williams, Chyvette T.; Latkin, Carl A. PhD

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: January 1st, 2005 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 69-73
Epidemiology and Social Science

Existing research examining the role of psychopathology on HIV risk behaviors has relied heavily upon cross-sectional data, making it difficult to assess causal relationships. This paper uses longitudinal data to examine the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual risk behaviors in a community sample of 332 inner-city drug users. Results from repeated measures analysis using generalized estimating equations suggest that high depressive symptoms may be causally related to having sex with multiple partners (odds ratio = 1.55, CI: 1.12, 2.14) and having sex with injection drug users (odds ratio = 1.57, CI: 1.11, 2.22) and crack users (odds ratio = 1.37, CI: 1.02, 1.86). Findings support greater attention to depressive symptoms in HIV prevention interventions for illicit drug users to reduce sexual risk behaviors.

From the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

Received for publication June 17, 2003; accepted April 5, 2004.

Supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA 13142).

Reprints: Carl A. Latkin, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Room 737, Baltimore, MD 21205 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.