HIV Risk Behavior Patterns, Predictors, and Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevalence in the Social Networks of Young Roma (Gypsy) Men in Sofia, Bulgaria
September 5, 2006
The authors studied predictors of high-risk sexual practices and sexually transmitted disease prevalence among Roma men's social networks in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Fifty-four socially active individuals, approached in Roma neighborhood venues, recruited members of their own networks (n=296) into the study. Study participants completed sociometric and risk-behavior interviews and were tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomonas.
The survey found that men had an average of seven partners in the past year, and 59 percent had multiple partners in the past three months. Seventy-three percent reported recent unprotected vaginal sex and 51 percent reported unprotected anal intercourse. Fifty-nine percent of men had sex with other men during the past year. Twenty-two percent had one of the STDs for which they were tested. An individual's social network accounted for 23 percent to 27 percent of variance in predicting sexual risk behavior.
"One's social network was the most powerful predictor of HIV risk behavior," the researchers concluded. "HIV/STD prevention interventions directed toward social networks are especially promising."
Sexually Transmitted Infections
08.2006; Vol. 33; No. 8 P. 485-490; Elena Kabakchieva, MD; Sylvia Vassileva, MS; Jeffrey A. Kelly, PhD; Yuri A. Amirkhanian, PhD; Wayne J. DiFranceisco, MS; Timothy L. McAuliffe, PhD; Radostina Antonova, MS; Milena Mihaylova, MS; Boyan Vassilev, MS; Roman Khoursine, MS; Elena Petrova
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.