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J Adolesc Health. 1998 Jul;23(1):39-48.

Variations in HIV risk behaviors of incarcerated juveniles during a four-year period: 1989-1992.

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University of California, Los Angeles, Juvenile Court Health Services, USA.



To retrospectively monitor over several years change in incarcerated juveniles' human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviors.


From 1989 to 1992, detainees who volunteered after an HIV class or were referred by a health care provider were counseled individually and privately by health educators using a standardized questionnaire and counseling form developed from an instrument used to counsel prostitutes in Los Angeles, California.


The number counseled each year was 1045, 1745, 2354 and 1428 from 1989 to 1992, respectively. Those agreeing to HIV testing rose from 72% of total participants in 1989 to 84% of total participants in 1992. Eight of those youth tested as HIV positive. Four blind seroprevalence studies during the same time yielded one case in 1000 for 1988, one case in 1005 for 1989, two cases in 751 in late 1989 (2.7/1000), and one case in 1214 for 1990 (1.25/1000). The number worrying about AIDS and considering themselves vulnerable to AIDS increased, but protective behaviors did not. Sexual partners per year were 2.1 regardless of the age of first sexual activity. Alcohol was associated with an increased number of sexual partners (2.6/year) and higher rates of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Although 96% of boys and girls were sexually active, only 4% used a condom consistently during the first 3 years, and only 7% in 1992. Those reporting having used condoms with the intention to prevent both STIs and pregnancy had a higher rate of use. Those carrying condoms all the time used condoms more often. Males having sex with both males and females rarely used condoms, and 45% had one or more STIs.


Although the rate of HIV infection remains low in juveniles detained by the County of Los Angeles, their rates of risky behaviors place them at high risk for HIV acquisition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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