African American women and sexually transmitted infections: The contextual influence of unbalanced sex ratios and individual risk behaviors

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11 Scopus citations


This study uses data from 564 African American women to examine the correlates of lifetime prevalence of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Specifically, we test the effects of perceptions about the availability of African American males, five partner characteristics, and drug history. At the bivariate level, women with an STI diagnosis were significantly more likely to have dated a man who was married, older, had sex with another man, involved in concurrent partnerships, and had been incarcerated. About half of the participants stated it was difficult to find an eligible African American male and attributed the limited pool of same-race partners to drug trafficking, a lack of monogamy, and high rates of incarceration. Multivariate analyses revealed having dated a man who had concurrent sexual partnerships or had been incarcerated, as well as drug use during sex were positively associated with ever having an STI. Individual and contextual implications are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-561
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
and Populations Program at the University of Kentucky. Her research examining addiction, health services, and health disparities among vulnerable populations is supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA022967, PI: Oser; K02-DA035116, PI: Oser; and K08-DA032296, PI: Stevens-Watkins).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • African American women
  • Drug use during sex
  • Male marriage pool index
  • Sexual partner characteristics
  • Sexually transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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