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Published Online: 9 September 2009

Risky Sexual Behaviors and Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A Comparison Study of Cocaine-Dependent Individuals in Treatment versus a Community-Matched Sample

Publication: AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs
Volume 23, Issue Number 9

Abstract

Cocaine users routinely engage in high-risk sexual behaviors that place them at an elevated risk of contracting HIV and other blood-borne infections. The purpose of the present study was to compare trading sex for drugs and/or money, having 10 or more sexual partners in 1 year, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of cocaine-dependent individuals in treatment for their dependence across race and gender and against participants who live in their community. Cocaine-dependent individuals (n = 459) were identified through nine publicly and privately funded inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency treatment centers in the St. Louis area during 2001–2006. Community-based participants (n = 459) were matched to cocaine-dependent participants on age, ethnicity, gender, and zip code of residence. Mean age of the sample was 36 years old, 50% were Caucasians, 50% were African American, and 47% were male. Nearly half of cocaine-dependent participants in treatment had traded sex for drugs and/or money and over one-third had more than 10 sexual partners in 1 year with a risk concentrated among African Americans even after controlling for income and educational attainment. Participants recruited from the community with some exposure to cocaine reported similar rates of high risk sexual behaviors as the cocaine dependent subjects from treatment settings. It is important for clinicians to recognize that once released from treatment, cocaine-dependent individuals may be returning to high-risk environments where sexual risk behaviors are occurring in the context of cocaine use.

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cover image AIDS Patient Care and STDs
AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs
Volume 23Issue Number 9September 2009
Pages: 727 - 734
PubMed: 19645618

History

Published online: 9 September 2009
Published in print: September 2009
Published ahead of print: 2 August 2009

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    Affiliations

    Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, Ph.D.
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
    Edward L. Spitznagel, Ph.D.
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
    Mario Schootman, Ph.D.
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
    Jaime R. Strickland, M.A.
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
    Stephanie E. Afful, Ph.D.
    Fontbonne University, St. Louis, Missouri.
    Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
    Laura Jean Bierut, M.D.
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

    Notes

    Address correspondence to:
    Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, Ph.D.
    Campus Box 8134
    Department of Psychiatry
    660 South Euclid
    St. Louis, MO 63110
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Author Disclosure Statement

    Dr. Bierut is listed as an inventor on a patent (US 20070258898) held by Perlegen Sciences, Inc., covering the use of certain SNPs in determining the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of addiction. Dr. Bierut has acted as a consultant for Pfizer, Inc. in 2008.
    All remaining authors do not have a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organizations that could be perceived as real or apparent conflict of interest in the context of the subject of this article.

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