Academic Commons

Articles

Sexual behavior among high school students in Brazil: alcohol consumption and legal and illegal drug use associated with unprotected sex

Sanchez, Zila M.; Nappo, Solange A.; Cruz, Joselaine I.; Carlini, Elisaldo A.; Carlini, Claudia M.; Martins, Silvia S.

OBJECTIVE: Alcohol and other drug use appears to reduce decision-making ability and increase the risk of unsafe sex, leading to possible unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases/human immunodeficiency virus/HIV transmission, and multiple sexual partners. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that risky sexual behaviors among adolescents are associated with legal and illegal drug use. METHODS: A national cross-sectional survey of 17,371 high-school students was conducted in 2010. Students were selected from 789 public and private schools in each of the 27 Brazilian state capitals by a multistage probabilistic sampling method and answered a self-report questionnaire. Weighted data were analyzed through basic contingency tables and logistic regressions testing for differences in condom use among adolescents who were sexually active during the past month. RESULTS: Approximately one third of the high school students had engaged in sexual intercourse in the month prior to the survey, and nearly half of these respondents had not used a condom. While overall sexual intercourse was more prevalent among boys, unsafe sexual intercourse was more prevalent among girls. Furthermore, a lower socioeconomic status was directly associated with non-condom use, while binge drinking and illegal drug use were independently associated with unsafe sexual intercourse. CONCLUSION: Adolescent alcohol and drug use were associated with unsafe sexual practices. School prevention programs must include drug use and sexuality topics simultaneously because both risk-taking behaviors occur simultaneously.

Subjects

Files

Also Published In

More About This Work

Academic Units
Epidemiology
Published Here
April 30, 2013
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.