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Childhood Sexual Abuse and Risk Behaviors Among Men at High Risk for HIV Infection

Witte, Susan S.; El-Bassel, Nabila; NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial Group

Objectives: This study examined the association between unwanted sexual activity during childhood and risky behaviors among a sample of predominantly African American and Hispanic men. Methods: Data were obtained from baseline interviews completed by 2676 men enrolled in a multisite HIV prevention trial. Results: Approximately 25% of the men reported unwanted or uninvited sexual activity before 13 years of age, with Hispanic men more likely than African American men to report unwanted sexual activity during childhood. Men with a history of unwanted sexual activity during childhood were more likely to report unwanted sexual activity since age 13, the buying and selling of sex, problems with alcohol, and drug use. Men who reported unwanted sexual activity during childhood also reported a significantly greater frequency of unprotected sexual acts and more partners. Conclusions: Among men at high risk for HIV infection, unwanted sexual activity during childhood is more widespread than previously described and can increase the risk of participating in harmful health practices during adulthood, including risky sexual behaviors.


Also Published In

American Journal of Public Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Published Here
July 31, 2012
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