Sex, drugs, and infections among youth: Parenterally and sexually transmitted diseases in a high-risk neighborhood

Samuel R. Friedman, Richard Curtis, Benny Jose, Alan Neaigus, Jonathan Zenilman, Joan Culpepper-Morgan, Lisa Borg, Mary Jeanne Kreek, Denise Paone, Don C. Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and Objectives: To determine the extent to which youth who reside in households in a neighborhood with large numbers of drug injectors 1) are infected with parenterally or sexually transmitted agents, and 2) engage in high-risk behaviors. Study Design: A multistage probability household sample survey was conducted in Bushwick, Brooklyn from 1994 to 1995. All households in 12 randomly selected primary sampling units were screened for age-eligible youth. One hundred eleven English-speaking 18- to 21-year-olds were interviewed. One hundred three sera were tested for human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1), hepatitis B virus, hepatitus C virus (HCV), human T-cell lymphotrophic virus types I and II (HTLV-I/II), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), or syphilis. Urines were tested for chlamydial infection, and for opiate and cocaine metabolites. Results: Eighty-nine percent had sex in the past year, 45% with two or more partners. Only 19% of the sexually active always used condoms. Two (of 95) had had sex with a crack smoker. Thirty percent of women reported being coerced the first time they had sex, and 23% of women and 3% of men reported having been sexually abused. Only 3% reported ever using heroin, and 9% cocaine. Only one reported ever having injected drugs or smoked crack. Some underreporting of stigmatized behaviors occurred: two 'nonreporters' had opiate-positive urines and two had cocaine-positive urines. Marijuana use was common, with 48% using it in the past year. No subjects tested positive for HIV-1, HTLV-II, or syphilis; 2% tested positive for HTLV-I and 3% for hepatitis C; 3% had hepatitis B markers, 12% had chlamydial infection, and 50% serologic HSV-2 markers. Conclusions: Population-representative samples of high-risk communities can provide important knowledge. Although heroin and cocaine use, drug injection, and rates of infection with parenterally transmitted infectious agents appear to be lower among these youth, sexual risk behaviors and chlamydial and HSV- 2 infection are widespread. Sexually transmitted disease screening and outreach strategies are needed both to prevent sexually transmitted disease sequelae (including potential increased susceptibility to HIV infection) and to prevent transmission to partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-326
Number of pages5
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sex, drugs, and infections among youth: Parenterally and sexually transmitted diseases in a high-risk neighborhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Friedman, S. R., Curtis, R., Jose, B., Neaigus, A., Zenilman, J., Culpepper-Morgan, J., Borg, L., Kreek, M. J., Paone, D., & Des Jarlais, D. C. (1997). Sex, drugs, and infections among youth: Parenterally and sexually transmitted diseases in a high-risk neighborhood. Sexually transmitted diseases, 24(6), 322-326. https://doi.org/10.1097/00007435-199707000-00003