Dissolution of Committed Partnerships during Incarceration and STI/HIV-Related Sexual Risk Behavior after Prison Release among African American Men

J Urban Health. 2018 Aug;95(4):479-487. doi: 10.1007/s11524-018-0274-2.


Incarceration is strongly associated with post-release STI/HIV risk. One pathway linking incarceration and STI/HIV risk may be incarceration-related dissolution of protective network ties. Among African American men released from prison who were in committed partnerships with women at the time of incarceration (N = 207), we measured the association between committed partnership dissolution during incarceration and STI/HIV risk in the 4 weeks after release. Over one-quarter (28%) experienced incarceration-related partnership dissolution. In adjusted analyses, incarceration-related partnership dissolution was strongly associated with post-release binge drinking (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.2, 95% confidence interval (CI); 1.4-15.5). Those who experienced incarceration-related partnership dissolution were much more likely to engage in multiple/concurrent partnerships or sex trade defined as buying or selling sex (64%) than those who returned to the partner (12%; AOR 20.1, 95% CI 3.4-175.6). Policies that promote maintenance of relationships during incarceration may be important for protecting health.

Keywords: African American; HIV; Incarceration; Partnerships; STI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission*