Timing and duration of incarceration and high-risk sexual partnerships among African Americans in North Carolina


Author(s): Khan MR, Miller WC, Schoenbach VJ, Weir SS, Kaufman JS, Wohl DA, Adimora AA

Year: 2008

Ann Epidemiol 2008. 18(5):403-410.
PURPOSE: Incarceration may contribute to HIV transmission by disrupting stable partnerships and promoting high-risk partnerships. We investigated incarceration and high-risk partnerships among African Americans in North Carolina. METHODS: We conducted a weighted analysis using the North Carolina Rural Health Project (N = 320), a population-based case-control study of HIV among African Americans. We measured associations between timing and duration of incarceration and high-risk partnerships (multiple partnerships or sex trade for money or drugs). RESULTS: Duration of incarceration appeared to be more important than how long ago incarceration occurred. After adjustment for sociodemographic indicators, high-risk partnerships were associated with short-term (<1 month) incarceration of the respondent versus no respondent incarceration (men: adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 1.9, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.2-2.8; women: aPR 3.1, 95% CI 1.2-8.3). High-risk partnerships also were associated with incarceration of a partner versus no partner incarceration (men: aPR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.0; women: aPR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.8). Among men, associations remained when adjusting for substance use. Among women, adjustment for substance use weakened estimates due to the strong correlation between substance use and incarceration. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-prevention programs targeting currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and their partners may decrease HIV in African American communities with high incarceration rates.

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