Increased Partner Risk Characteristic Among Adolescents Using Alcohol In the Moment

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Abstract

Background

Alcohol is a recognized risk factor for sexually transmitted diseases acquisition, but the mechanism is unclear. Potentially, adolescents using alcohol in the 2 hours before sex (in-the-moment use) have riskier sexual partners.

Methods

We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the association between in-the-moment alcohol use and partner risk characteristics reported for the most recent sex among primarily 17- to 18-year-old adolescents originally recruited from a representative sample of Chicago public elementary schools. We created 3 composite partner risk profiles: partner familiarity risk (casual and unexpected), partner context risk (age discordance and met in public), and overall risk using all measures except partner alcohol use.

Results

Teens who reported any in-the-moment alcohol use were more likely than nondrinking teens to report casual (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.1–4.9), unexpected (AOR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.0–2.5), age discordant (AOR, 3.0; 95% CI, 2.0–4.6), or met in public partners (AOR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.1). For each composite measure, the number of partner risk characteristics reported increased linearly with the percent of teens drinking in the moment (Cochran-Armitage trend, P < 0.0001). Compared with zero characteristics, in-the-moment alcohol use was associated with increased odds of reporting 1 (AOR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.7–4.5), 2 (AOR, 4.6; 95% CI, 2.7, 7.6), or 3 to 4 characteristics (AOR, 7.1; 95% CI, 3.3–15.3).

Conclusions

Our findings expand the link between in-the-moment alcohol use and partner risk reported in prior studies to encompass adolescents' general sexual experiences and additional partner characteristics including the highly associated composite characteristics.

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