Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kim Buttery


Objective: This study was to identify factors associated with High Sexual Risk Behavior (HSRB) in single Afro American women seen in an Epidemiology/Sexual transmitted disease (EPID/STD) Clinic in Richmond, Virginia from January 2006 through April 2006.Method: Participants were 154 single women (no history of marriage) between the ages of 18-30 visiting the EPID/STD clinic for the first time.Demographic information was obtained from their records. A volunteer interview was given that contained 101 variables to evaluate for High Sexual Risk Behavior (HSRB). HSRB was defined to response 'yes' to the question, "During the past 3 months did you have sex with some one you just met (i.e., within the past week or so)." We evaluated the association of HSRB and the pre-disposing factors that affect risk behavior using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.Results: There were 154 women interviewed of which 16% responded yes to the HSRB question. Eight percent reported a first sexual encounter prior to the age of 13, 69% reported 6 or more lifetime sexual partners, 39% reported > than one pregnancy, 53% said they had heard information on the risk of STDs often or a lot. Girls who initiated sex from 13 to 15 were protected against HSRB as an adult according to our data. There was an association between HSRB and number of lifetime sexual partners as well as the number of lifetime pregnancies. In logistic regression, predictors for HSRB were found to include number of lifetime sexual partners as well as the number of lifetime pregnancies, with the highest adjusted POR for 16 or more lifetime sexual partners 13.69 (95%CI 2.03,92.23). In addition, women who had more than one pregnancy had an adjusted POR for HSRB of 5.13 (95% CI 1.14, 23.15).Conclusion: The results indicated that there was an association for HSRB, as measured by the report of sex with someone you just met in the past three months, with having 16 or more lifetime sexual partners and with one or more pregnancies. Also, in this study group, girls who initiated sex between the ages of 13-15 were protected against HSRB as adults. We need to target these at risk individuals to educate them an dincrease their awareness of negative outcomes linked to this type of behavior.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Epidemiology Commons