Concurrent partnerships among rural African Americans with recently reported heterosexually transmitted HIV infection

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2003 Dec 1;34(4):423-9. doi: 10.1097/00126334-200312010-00010.


Objectives: To investigate concurrent sexual partnerships among African Americans in North Carolina with recently reported heterosexually transmitted HIV infection.

Design: Population-based case series of persons with newly reported HIV infection.

Methods: Household interviews concerning sexual and other risk behaviors for HIV transmission were conducted among African Americans, 18-59 years old, who had been reported to the state health department within the preceding 6 months as having heterosexually acquired HIV infection. Dates of sexual partnerships were analyzed to identify concurrency among the 3 most recent partnerships.

Results: Concurrency prevalence in the past 1 and 5 years, respectively, was 45 and 63% for men and 37 and 58% for women. Most respondents (87%) believed that a recent partner had had a concurrent partnership. Multivariate analysis revealed associations between concurrency and male gender, youth, crack cocaine smoking, and incarceration of a sex partner.

Conclusions: Concurrent partnerships likely accelerate heterosexual HIV transmission among blacks in the rural southeastern United States. Future research should examine the socioeconomic context that supports this network pattern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Black or African American*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1*
  • Heterosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors