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AIDS Behav. 2012 Aug;16(6):1491-500. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0163-8.

Predicting discordance between self-reports of sexual behavior and incident sexually transmitted infections with African American female adolescents: results from a 4-city study.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health & Center for AIDS Research, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


This study examined correlates of the discordance between sexual behavior self-reports and Incident Sexually Transmitted Infections. African American adolescent females (N = 964) from four U.S. cities were recruited for an HIV/STI prevention trial. Self-reported sexual behaviors, demographics, and hypothesized psychosocial antecedents of sexual risk behavior were collected at baseline, 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow-up assessments. Urine specimens were collected and tested for three prevalent STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas) at each assessment. Seventeen percent of participants with a laboratory-confirmed STI reported either lifetime abstinence or recent abstinence from vaginal sex (discordant self-report). Lower STI knowledge, belief that fewer peers were engaging in sex, and belief that more peers will wait until marriage to have sex were associated with discordant reports. Discordance between self-reported abstinence and incident STIs was marked among African American female adolescents. Lack of STI knowledge and sexual behavior peer norms may result in underreporting of sexual behaviors.

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