April 26, 2012
Examining the associations between personal and partner incarceration, high-risk sexual partnerships, and biologically confirmed STI in an urban population were the goals of the current study.
The researchers analyzed data from a probability survey of people ages 15-35 in Baltimore to examine the prevalence of personal and partner incarceration and its association with measures of high-risk sexual partnerships, including current STI, multiple partners, and partner concurrency.
In the study population, a history of incarceration was common: 24.1 percent among the men, and 11.3 percent among the women. For the 15.3 percent of women with an incarcerated partner in the past year, the risk of current STI was significantly increased (adjusted prevalence ratio=2.3, 95 percent confidence interval 1.5 to 3.5). Among men and women who had been incarcerated or who had sex partners who had recently been incarcerated, reports of five or more partners in the past year and partner concurrency were disproportionately high. The authors noted that these associations remained robust independent of illicit drug use and personal sociodemographic factors.
"Incarceration may contribute to STI risk by influencing engagement in high-risk behaviors and by influencing contact with partners who engage in risky behaviors and who hence have elevated risk of infection," the researchers concluded.