Men's behavior change following infection with a sexually transmitted disease

Fam Plann Perspect. Jul-Aug 1997;29(4):152-7.

Abstract

An analysis of data on 20-39-year-old men participating in the 1991 National Survey of Men finds that of 466 respondents who had ever had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), 25% had sex while infected. However, 85% of these men informed their partner of their infection before having intercourse. Black men were significantly less likely than whites to have had sex while infected. Overall, 29% of men with an STD did not modify their sexual behavior or condom use. Blacks, married men and men who were affiliated with a religious group were less likely than whites, single men and those with no religious affiliation to maintain the same behavior subsequent to the diagnosis of an STD infection as before. Black men were more likely than whites to start using condoms; blacks, religious men, less-educated men and those who were older when they had their first sexual experience were the most likely to stop having sex with casual partners once they learned that they were infected with an STD.

PIP: The effects of individual characteristics on the likelihood that a man will modify risk-related sexual behaviors once he learns he is infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) were investigated through use of data from the 1991 US National Survey of Men. Of the 3321 men 20-39 years of age (1238 Blacks and 2083 Whites) interviewed for the survey, 494 (15%) reported ever having had an STD; 298 men had gonorrhea. 25% of men with an STD (13% of those with gonorrhea) had had sex while they were infected, but 85% (86% of men with gonorrhea) informed their partners in advance of intercourse that they had an STD. 70% of those with infection (76% of those with gonorrhea) returned to the clinic to be retested for the disease. Overall, 29% of men (22% of those with gonorrhea) had not modified their sexual behavior or condom use in response to an STD diagnosis. Black men were significantly less likely than Whites to have had sex while infected--and also less likely to inform their partner they were infected--and more likely to have stopped having sex with casual partners and to have begun condom use. Blacks, religious men, less educated men, and those who were older when they had their first sexual experience were the most likely to stop having sex with casual partners once they learned they were infected with an STD. Overall, Blacks, married men, and those who were affiliated with a religious group were less likely than Whites, single men, and those with no religious affiliation to maintain the same behavior subsequent to diagnosis of an STD. These findings provide a useful starting point for the understanding of the dynamics of STD transmission and the design of prevention programs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Condoms
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Men / psychology*
  • Religion
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Truth Disclosure*