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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers Dean Leads Study on Latent Growth Curve Modeling of Non-Injection Drug Use and Condomless Sexual Behavior in Sexual Minority Men

Rutgers School of Public Health study finds significant growth in the frequency of condomless oral and anal intercourse, alcohol intoxication, marijuana use, and inhalant nitrate use by young men who have sex with men (YMSM).

Rutgers dean, Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, along with colleagues from the New York University Center for Health Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (NYU CHIBPS) used behavioral data on drug use and condomless sex, collected via a calendar based technique, over seven waves of a cohort study of 600 YMSM between the ages of 18-21. The data was used to document patterns of growth in these behaviors, their associations, and the extent to which patterns and associations are moderated by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and directed by extant literature that indicates an association between drug use and sexual behaviors. Neither race/ethnicity nor socioeconomic status impacted the association — a finding of importance given the higher prevalence of HIV in black and hispanic sexual minority men.

[Photo: Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, Dean and Professor – School of Public Health]

“The link between drug use and risky sexual behavior continue to be evident in YMSM with significant increases in these behaviors demonstrated as YMSM transition between adolescence and young adulthood,” according to Dr. Halkitis. “Healthcare for a new generation of sexual minority males must address the synergy of these behaviors and also nest HIV prevention and care within a larger context of sexual minority health that acknowledges the advances made in the last three decades.”

Latent Growth Curve Modeling of Non-Injection Drug Use and Condomless Sexual Behavior from Ages 18 to 21 in Gay, Bisexual, and Other YMSM: The P18 Cohort Study” was published in the journal of Substance Use & Misuse.