Patterns of HIV risk and preventive behaviors among teenage men

L. Ku, F. L. Sonenstein, J. H. Pleck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Analyses of the 1988 National Survey of Adolescent Males indicate the prevalence of risk behaviors related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, including sexual, contraceptive, and drug use behaviors, among 15- to 19- year-old men. About three-fifths had sexual intercourse, indicating that a majority of teenage men have at least some potential exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted disease. From a behavioral perspective, the average sexually active teenage man used a condom more than half the time in the 12 months before the interview. Those with most experience with sexual intercourse, however, used condoms least frequently. More important from an epidemiologic perspective, a third of all acts of intercourse in the prior year were protected using condoms. Further, behaviors with the greatest direct risks for HIV infection, such as homosexual intercourse, use of intravenous drugs, and sex with intravenous drug users or prostitutes, appear to be relatively uncommon. Teenage men who demonstrate high-risk behavior, including both sexual and substance abuse, compound their risks, because risks generally are correlated. Condom use is a preventive behavior that is negatively correlated with most risk behaviors; those who have multiple partners, or who are substance abusers, tend to use condoms least. The convergence of risks for multi-problem teenage men indicates the relevance of interventions directed to high-risk youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalPublic health reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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