Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Fam Plann Perspect. 1997 May-Jun;29(3):132-6.

The association between substance use, condom use and sexual risk among low-income women.

Author information

1
Center for the Study of Population, Florida State University, Tallahassce, USA.

Abstract

Substance use is frequently assumed to be associated with higher levels of sexual risk-taking and lower levels of condom use. An analysis of 668 black, Hispanic and white low-income women at public health and public assistance facilities in Miami show that 19% engaged in risky sexual behavior over the preceding six months, 24% in substance use and 31% in condom use. Overall, substance users are nearly four and one-half times more likely to take sexual risks than nonusers, but are about half as likely to have relied on condoms. When the probability of condom use is considered in the context of both substance use and sexual risk, substance users who take sexual risks appear just as likely to rely on condoms as are nonusers who take sexual risks and those who do not (odds of 0.43-0.49). However, substance users who do not take sexual risks are much less likely to use condoms (odds of 0.15). This pattern holds among black, Hispanic and white women, and suggests that perceptions of risk and the risks that partners bring to sexual encounters may be more important determinants of condom use than substance use per se.

PIP:

668 Black, White, and Hispanic low-income women at 21 public health, sexually transmitted disease (STD), and family planning clinics or state economic service centers in Miami provided data on their sex behavior, drug and alcohol consumption, and condom use. The data were collected from September 1994 through February 1995. Any participant who reported having had sex with three or more partners in the preceding 6 months, exchanging sex for drugs or money in the preceding 6 months, or having a sex partner who they believe has had sex with men or had injected drugs was classified as a sexual risk-taker. Any woman who had taken any recreational drugs in the past 6 months or had drank alcohol before having sex over the same period was classified as a substance user. 19% of the women engaged in risky sex behavior over the preceding 6 months, 24% in substance use, and 31% in condom use. Overall, the substance users are almost 4.5 times more likely to take sexual risks than nonusers, and about half as likely to have used condoms. Substance users who take sexual risks seem just as likely to use condoms as nonusers who take sexual risks and those who do not. However, substance users who do not take sexual risks are far less likely to use condoms. This pattern holds among Black, White, and Hispanic women, and suggests that perceptions of risk and the risks that partners bring to sexual encounters may be more important determinants of condom use than substance use alone.

PMID:
9179583
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The Alan Guttmacher Institute
Loading ...
Support Center