Interactions between persons at risk for AIDS and the general population in Denmark

Am J Epidemiol. 1992 Mar 15;135(6):593-602. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116338.


A nationwide study of sexual behavior was undertaken among 4,680 randomly selected Danes aged 18-59 years. The median number of sexual partners (lifetime) was highest for men aged 30-34 years (eight partners) and for women aged 25-29 years (seven partners). After adjustment for age and sex, having had greater than or equal to 5 sexual partners in the past year was strongly associated with living in larger cities, intravenous drug use, and having sex with a prostitute, a bisexual man, an intravenous drug user, or a resident of sub-Saharan Africa. The frequency of ever having had anal intercourse was highest among women aged 20-34 years (range, 27%-36%) and was independently associated only with increasing number of sexual partners (lifetime). Overall, 2.7% of men reported any homosexual experience, among whom most (88%) had also had heterosexual intercourse. Prostitute contact (ever) was reported by 13% of all men and was associated with a high educational level, a history of travel, a greater number of sexual partners, and intravenous drug use. Overall, sexual contact with someone considered at high risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (a homosexual/bisexual man, intravenous drug user, prostitute, or sub-Saharan African resident) was reported by 15.9% of men and 4.8% of women. Among active blood donors (past year), 12.5% of men and 4.0% of women had engaged in potentially risky behavior. HIV testing was deliberately sought more often by respondents exposed to someone at increased risk of HIV infection (10.6%) than by those unexposed (6.5%, p less than 0.01). Exposure to persons at risk of HIV infection is considerable in Denmark. The majority of persons who have had potential exposure to HIV have not yet been tested for HIV.

PIP: The authors present results from a 1989 nationwide study of sexual behavior in Denmark involving 4,680 randomly selected individuals aged 18-59. They indicate that sexual contacts with individuals from groups at high risk of carrying HIV infection were reported by 15.9 percent of men and 4.8 percent of women from the general population. Furthermore, 12.5 percent of male and 4 percent of female active blood donors had engaged in high-risk behavior. The results suggest not only that exposure to persons at risk of HIV infection is considerable, but that most persons who have had potential exposure to infection have not been tested for HIV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / statistics & numerical data
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / etiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bisexuality / statistics & numerical data
  • Blood Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraceptive Devices, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications
  • Travel