HIV Risk-Related Behaviors Down in the United States

But, significant variations exist by age, race, sex, education, and income

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The number of men and women who reported engaging in HIV risk-related behaviors was lower in 2006 to 2010 compared with 2002, with the decline likely resulting from a decrease in sexual risk behaviors, according to a research published in the Jan. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Statistics Reports.

Anjani Chandra, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from a national sample of 22,682 men and women (aged 15 to 44 years old) surveyed in the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). Audio computer-assisted self-interviewing was used, in which the respondent enters their own answers into the computer without telling them to an interviewer. HIV risk-related behavioral measures that were examined included sexual risk, drug risk, and recent sexually transmitted disease treatment.

The researchers found that 10 percent of men and 8 percent of women in 2006 to 2010 reported engaging in at least one of the HIV risk-related behavioral measures examined, representing 6.5 million men and 4.9 million women in the general U.S. household population. These numbers have declined from the 13 percent of men and 11 percent of women who reported one or more of these measures in 2002. Significant variations were seen by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, education, and poverty level income. Men with recent prison experience were more likely than other men to report one or more HIV risk-related behaviors in the past year.

"Further analyses of the NSFG data, as well as comparisons with other household surveys, are needed to fully understand and describe trends over time," the authors write.

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