Identifying risk and protective factors associated with condomless sex among youth living with HIV is imperative for developing effective HIV prevention strategies. A cross-sectional sample of 1728 participants, 12-26 years of age, recruited from adolescent medicine clinics in 17 U.S. cities completed an audio-computer assisted self-interview with questions about their substance use, psychosocial factors, and attitudinal and behavioral factors. Guided by syndemics theory, a path analysis was used to assess the interrelations of these factors. Analyses of model fit statistics indicated statistically significant direct pathways between substance use, psychosocial factors, self-efficacy for risk-reduction, alternative risk-reduction attitudes and behaviors and condomless sex. The total indirect effect of self-efficacy for risk-reduction on condomless sex through alternative risk-reduction attitudes and behaviors was also significant. Multi-faceted, tailored interventions that address individual risk and protective factors and their combined synergistic effects are urgently needed to prevent condomless sex among this population.
Using Syndemics Theory to Investigate Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Condomless Sex Among Youth Living with HIV in 17 U.S. Cities.