Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Sexual behaviour: related adverse health burden in the United States
  1. S H Ebrahim1,
  2. M T McKenna1,
  3. J S Marks2
  1. 1National Center for HIV/AIDS, STD, TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
  2. 2National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Shahul H Ebrahim MD PhD
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Mail Stop E-46), 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 3033, USA;


As part of an analysis of the burden of disease and injury in the United States, we identified and quantified the incidence of adverse health events, deaths, and disability adjusted life years (DALY) attributed to sexual behaviour. In 1998, about 20 million such events (7532/100 000 people) and 29 782 such deaths (1.3% of all US deaths) occurred, contributing to 2 161 417 DALYs (6.2% of all US DALYs). The majority of incident health events (62%) and DALYs (57%) related to sexual behaviour were among females, and curable infections and their sequelae contributed to over half of these. Viral infections and their sequelae accounted for nearly all sexual behaviour related deaths—mostly HIV/AIDS. Sexual behaviour attributed DALYs in the United States are threefold higher than that in overall established market economies.

  • DALY, disability adjusted life years
  • HBV, hepatitis B virus
  • HPV, human papillomavirus
  • STD, sexually transmitted diseases
  • sexual behaviour
  • adverse health burden
  • United States

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.