Elevated Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Postincarcerated Young African American Males in the South

Ja Nelle M. Ricks, Richard A. Crosby, Ivy Terrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The dramatic racial disparities in the rates of HIV/STIs(sexually transmitted infections) among African Americans make understanding broader structural factors that increase the risk for HIV/STIs crucial. The current study of young 564 African American men attending STI clinics investigated whether those who had ever been incarcerated reported recent sexual behaviors relatively more risky than their counterparts who had never been incarcerated. Participants were recruited from clinics treating STIs in three southern U.S. cities. Males 15 to 23 years of age who identified as Black/African American and reported recent (past 2 months) sexual activity were eligible. Linear mixed-effects models and generalized estimating equation models were used to assess associations between baseline incarceration history and sexual risk behavior over a 6-month follow-up period. Mean age was 19.6 years (SD = 1.87). At baseline, 240 (42.6%) men reported history of incarceration. Incarceration history predicted several risk behaviors over a 6-month follow-up period. Compared with those with no incarceration history, men previously incarcerated reported a desire to conceive a pregnancy (β =.40, p =.02), were less likely to have used a condom at last sex act (odds ratio =.91, p =.02) and were more likely to have used drugs and alcohol before sex in the past 2 months (β =.69, p <.001; β =.41, p <.001). A history of incarceration may influence the sexual risk behavior of young African American males. Prevention programs and interventions should intensify support for postincarceration African American males to help mitigate this behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 17 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Support for this project was provided by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (5R01 MH083621). JaNelle M. Ricks was supported by K12 GM000680 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • men of color
  • risk behaviors
  • sexually transmitted diseases/infections
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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