Risk factors for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and prevention practices among US heterosexual adults: changes from 1990 to 1992

Am J Public Health. 1995 Nov;85(11):1492-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.85.11.1492.


Objectives: The National AIDS Behavioral Survey (1990-1992) of heterosexual adults (18-49 years) measured human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk factors, condom use, and HIV antibody testing, with a focus on major "high-risk" cities.

Methods: A longitudinal survey was conducted.

Results: There was little reduction in the overall prevalence of HIV risk factors in the national or high-risk cities cohorts over time. Despite this picture of stability, approximately 39% of the population at risk for HIV because of multiple sexual partners turns over annually. There was little change in HIV test-seeking or in consistent condom use with primary sexual partners. Although the majority of at-risk respondents used condoms sporadically or not at all (65%), a significant increase in condom use was found among those reporting multiple sexual partners in both waves, particularly among Black heterosexuals. Data from other surveys and condom sales nationally support the findings.

Conclusions: There is a need for a series of surveys in this area to assess the reliability of the present findings and to monitor the general US population's response to prevention programs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Urban Health / trends*