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Social and Behavioral Correlates of Sexually Transmitted Infection- and HIV-Discordant Sexual Partnerships in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York

Khan, Maria R PhD*†; Bolyard, Melissa PhD; Sandoval, Milagros BA*; Mateu-Gelabert, Pedro PhD*; Krauss, Beatrice PhD§; Aral, Sevgi O PhD; Friedman, Samuel R PhD*

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: August 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 4 - p 470-485
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181a2810a
Epidemiology and Social Science

Introduction: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise repeat HIV testing for partners of HIV-infected persons; injection drug users and their sex partners; individuals with recent multiple partnerships and their sex partners; those involved in sex trade; and men who have sex with men. Additional social and behavioral variables may be useful for identifying priority populations.

Methods: We analyzed data collected during a social network study conducted in a Brooklyn, NY, neighborhood to identify social and behavioral characteristics of respondents (N = 343) involved in HIV-discordant, herpes simplex virus-2- discordant, and chlamydia-discordant partnerships.

Results: HIV partnership discordance was associated with injection drug use but was generally not associated with sexual behaviors including multiple partnerships and sex trade. herpes simplex virus-2 and chlamydia partnership discordance were associated with multiple partnerships, sex trade, and same sex partnership history. Additional correlates of sexually transmitted infection (STI)/HIV-discordant partnerships included older age (≥25 years), noninjection drug use, and incarceration history. Analyses suggested that screening tools composed of CDC-recommended sexual risk and injection drug indicators plus indicators of older age, noninjection drug use, and incarceration were more effective in identifying STI/HIV priority populations than tools composed of CDC indicators alone.

Conclusions: Screening tools that include social and behavioral indicators may improve STI/HIV case-finding effectiveness.

From the *National Development and Research Institutes, New York, NY; †Public Health Solutions, New York, NY; ‡Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Atlanta, GA; §Center on AIDS, Drugs, and Community Health, CUNY-Hunter, New York, NY; and ‖Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Received for publication July 18, 2008; accepted February 5, 2009.

Supported by the NIDA grant Networks, Norms, and HIV/STI Risk Among Youth (S.R.F., PI, R01DA013128). M.R.K. was supported as a postdoctoral fellow in the Behavioral Sciences Training in Drug Abuse Research program, sponsored by Public Health Solutions and the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc with funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (5T32 DA07233).

A version of this article was presented in an oral presentation at the XXVIII International Sunbelt Social Network Conference, January 26, 2008, St Pete Beach, FL.

Correspondence to: Maria R. Khan, PhD, National Development and Research Institutes, 71 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.