More People at Risk of Getting Hiv, Researchers Warn Admonitions Are Not Getting through, Study Finds

By Compiled From News Services | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), November 13, 1995 | Go to article overview

More People at Risk of Getting Hiv, Researchers Warn Admonitions Are Not Getting through, Study Finds


Compiled From News Services, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


BEHAVIOR THAT puts people at risk of contracting the AIDS virus increased among heterosexuals living in major American cities from 1990 to 1992, according to a study released Sunday.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco surveyed 4,790 heterosexuals aged 18 to 49 in 23 U.S. cities to map changes in risk factors linked to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Joseph Catania, the study's lead author, said the findings suggested that many safe sex messages fail to reach some heterosexuals, particularly young adults in the "dating phase" of life who may have multiple sexual partners.

The study, published in the November issue of the "American Journal of Public Health," found that the proportion of heterosexuals reporting multiple sexual partners increased to 19.3 percent in 1992 from 15.3 percent in 1990.

The majority of at-risk heterosexuals used condoms sporadically or not at all, it said.

Among those with multiple sex partners, there was little change in those who sought HIV testing (37 percent) and those who consistently used condoms with their primary partners (22 percent).

But people with multiple partners, particularly African-Americans, did show a significant increase in consistent condom use with secondary partners, the study said.

"Prevention programs that address condom use, HIV testing and health hazards of multiple partners need to be targeted to at-risk heterosexuals to limit the transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases," said Catania, a researcher at school's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. …

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