Robillard, Alyssa G.; Conerly, Rhonda C.; Braithwaite, Ronald L.; Stephens, Torrance T.; Woodring, Tammy M.
March 2005
American Journal of Health Studies;2005, Vol. 20 Issue 1/2, p106
Academic Journal
Confinement of juvenile detainees affords an opportunity to gain greater knowledge of risk behavior and provide targeted health education. This study sought to assess sexual risk behavior, specifically age of sexual initiation, number of lifetime partners and condom use, in a sample of adolescent detainees (ADs). Youth (N = 2280) were recruited from two youth detention facilities and enrolled in one of two levels of a risk reduction intervention. Females were oversampled and made up 59% of the sample. Participants ranged in age from 11 to 18 years (M = 15.2; SD = 1.1). Fifty-seven percent of the sample was black, and 37% were white. Hispanic youth made up 2% of the sample. Youth in younger age categories generally initiated all sexual activity at an earlier age than youth in older age categories. Males had more lifetime partners for vaginal and anal sex; however females were more likely to have not used condoms in the month preceding detainment. ADs initiate sexual activity at early ages, and have multiple partners. They are also inconsistent in their use of condoms, thus increasing their chance of HIV infection. This study documents risk behavior in ADs and speaks to the need for comprehensive and targeted HIV interventions with these youth.


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