Objectives: The objectives of this study were to describe preincarceration risk behaviors of young men and identify correlates of unprotected sex with multiple partners during the 3 months before incarceration.
Study: Data on preincarceration risk behaviors were obtained from 550 men, aged 18 to 29 years, in state prisons in California, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Correlates of unprotected sex with multiple partners were determined by logistic regression.
Results: Of 550 participants, 71% had multiple sex partners, 65.1% had sex with a partner they perceived as risky, and 45.3% engaged in unprotected sex with multiple partners. Men who drank heavily (odds ratio [OR], 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–2.54) or who had a risky partner (OR, 3.90; 95% CI, 2.60–5.85) were more likely to report unprotected sex with multiple partners. Men who attended religious gatherings (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.46–0.96) or lived in stable housing (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.48–1.00) were less likely to report unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Conclusions: Most participants engaged in behaviors that could result in a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV. Prevention programs should address the relationship between heavy alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. Discharge planning should address housing needs. Faith-based community organizations may play an important role for some young men in their transition to the community.