Objectives: To determine the prevalence of age- bridgers among urban, males 14-24 years of age, asymptomatically infected with chlamydia and to determine factors which distinguish age-bridgers vs. non age-bridgers. An index was defined as an age-bridger if within two months the index had at least two sex partners where the sex partners differed in age by two or more years.
Methods: Infected males provided data about themselves and up to four sex partners in the past two months. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression was used in the analysis.
Results: The prevalence of age-bridging was 21% in Baltimore and 26% in Denver. In both cities in bivariate analysis, age-bridgers and their partners engaged in significantly more risky sexual behaviors and in adjusted multivariable analysis after controlling for number of sex partners, age bridging was associated with having a sex partner in the past two months that at last sex was drinking.
Conclusion: Age-bridgers represented significant proportions of the study populations and along with their sex partners were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. Male age-bridgers may be key players in STI transmission among youth linking age disparate sexual networks.
- sexual mixing patterns
- sexually transmitted infections
- young males
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