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Sexual Partner Concurrency among STI Clinic Patients with a Steady Partner: Correlates and Associations with Condom Use
  1. Theresa E Senn (tsenn{at}syr.edu)
  1. Syracuse University, United States
    1. Michael P Carey (mpcarey{at}syr.edu)
    1. Syracuse University, United States
      1. Peter A Vanable (pvanable{at}syr.edu)
      1. Syracuse University, United States
        1. Patricia Coury-Doniger (pcoury-doniger{at}monroecounty.gov)
        1. University of Rochester, United States
          1. Marguerite Urban (marguerite_urban{at}urmc.rochester.edu)
          1. University of Rochester, United States

            Abstract

            Objectives: Partner concurrency facilitates the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With this study, we sought to (1) determine the correlates of concurrency among patients with a steady partner, and (2) identify correlates of condom use among patients reporting concurrent steady and non-steady partners.

            Methods: Patients recruited from a STI clinic (n = 973; 48% female; 68% African American), were completed a survey that assessed demographic characteristics, substance use, sexual partnerships, and sexual behavior, including condom use. Patients reporting a steady sexual partner for 3 months or longer were included in the analyses. Those who also reported a non-steady partner in the past 3 months, in addition to a steady partner, were considered to have engaged in concurrency.

            Results: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of patients reported both steady and non-steady partners in the past 3 months. Steady/non-steady concurrency was associated with being male, not cohabitating with a partner, use of alcohol and other drugs, and thinking their steady partner was monogamous. Patients with steady and non-steady partners reported that they seldom used condoms consistently with steady (5%) or non-steady (24%) partners; compared to patients who did not report concurrency, patients who reported steady/non-steady concurrency reported more episodes of unprotected sex in the past 3 months. Among patients reporting concurrency, consistent condom use with non-steady partners was more likely among individuals who (a) used less alcohol and (b) thought that their partner was non-monogamous.

            Conclusions: To reduce risk for HIV and other STIs, behavioral interventions need to address partner concurrency and its correlates, including alcohol and other drug use.

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