Introduction In the UK people of black ethnicity experience a disproportionate burden of HIV and STI. We aimed to assess the association of ethnicity with sexual risk behaviours (SRB) and sexual health among heterosexual men and women.
Methods AURAH is a cross-sectional questionnaire study of people without HIV, recruited in 20 GUM clinics in England 2013–14. We assessed the association of ethnicity with (i) condomless sex with non-regular partner(s) (CLS-NR); (ii) ≥2 new partners in the last year (2NPLY); and (iii) STI diagnosis in the past year (STI) using modified poisson regression adjusted for age, study region, education and relationship status.
Results 1075 heterosexual men (n=451) and women (n=624) completed questionnaires. Ethnicity was as follows: 513 (48.4%) black/mixed African (BA), 159 (15.0%) black/mixed Caribbean (BC), 288 (27.1%) white ethnicity (WE), 101 (9.5%) other ethnicity (OE).
Compared with WE women BA women were less likely to report CLS-NR, BA and BC women were less likely to report 2NPLY, and BC women were more likely to report STI. In men CLS-NR did not vary significantly by ethnicity. BA men were less likely to report 2NPLY and BC men were more likely to report STI compared with WE men.
Discussion The prevalence of SRBs was lower in black ethnicity women, but history of STI was more prevalent among BC women. Similarly, higher STI history in BC men was not consistent with ethnic variation in SRB. Additional factors, e.g. sexual networks, may be important determinants of sexual health.
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