Washington Times (01.20.12) - Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Fewer Americans are engaging in behaviors that put them at
risk for HIV, according to a CDC report released Thursday. The
study is based on data from nearly 23,000 respondents to the
2006-10 National Survey of Family Growth, and it included
comparisons with data from the 2002 NSFG. The participants,
ages 15-44, were asked a number of questions, including some
dealing with 10 HIV risk-related behaviors during the previous
Approximately 10 percent of men and 8 percent of women
reported engaging in at least one HIV risk behavior in the
2006-10 NSFG, down from 13 percent of men and 11 percent of
women in the 2002 NSFG. To encourage honest responses, the
survey uses laptops and headphones for questions about
personal sexual and drug activity, so only the person taking
the survey knows what is being asked and answered.
Categories that saw no significant change included the
proportion of men reporting sex with men (2.1 percent) and
respondents who reported five or more opposite-sex partners
(3.9 percent of men, 1.8 percent of women).
However, reports of sex with a partner who injects drugs fell
to less than 1 percent for both genders. Both males and
females reported fewer episodes of sex in exchange for money
or drugs (1.3 percent for men, 0.7 percent for women). The
proportion of women reporting sex with male partners who had
sex with other males fell from 2.3 percent to 1.4 percent.
Among men, crack cocaine use decreased from 1.8 percent to 0.8
Nonetheless, a gender gap remained, with "lower levels of risk
behaviors reported by women compared with men," said Anjani
Chandra, PhD, a health statistician and lead author of the
National Center for Health Statistics report.
In addition, increases in one risk factor, STD treatment,
could be seen in a positive light. Among women, reported STD
treatment rose from 3.4 percent in 2002 to 4.1 percent of
respondents in 2006-10.
The full report, "HIV Risk-Related Behaviors in the United
States Household Population Aged 15-44 Years: Data from the
National Survey of Family Growth, 2002 and 2006-2010," was
published in the National Health Statistics Report (2012;46).