The following is a summary of “Substance Use Disorders and HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors in Youth After Juvenile Detention: A 16-Year Longitudinal Study,” published in the October 2023 issue of Adolescent Health by Stokes, et al.
To look into the link between substance use disorders (SUDs) and actions that put jailed teens at risk for HIV/AIDS as they get older. A prospective longitudinal study of a stratified random sample of 1,829 youth aged 10 to 18 from the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, Illinois, was conducted from November 1995 to June 1998. The youth were interviewed up to 13 times, with the median age being 32, for a total of 17,766 interviews.
When teens had an SUD, they were more likely to do all risky behaviors than when they did not have an SUD. For instance, having vaginal sex without a condom with a high-risk partner was linked to SUD (OR: 2.28, 95% CI: 1.84–2.82). It was also linked to having more than one lover, but the strength of the link changed with time and gender (for example, 16 years after the start, OR: 3.58, 95% CI: 2.46–5.23 women; OR: 2.07, 95% CI: 1.48–2.88 men).
Different types of SUD, like alcohol, drinking, and marijuana together, and drugs besides marijuana, were also linked to behaviors that put people at risk for getting HIV/AIDS. People who use drugs and people who do things that put them at risk for HIV/AIDS are tied when they are young and when they get older. Targeted and combined HIV and SUD programs have been needed for a long time, but they still haven’t been provided.