Dr. Kesheng Wang, associate professor in the department of biostatistics and epidemiology in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, co-authored a paper published in Archives of Sexual Behavior. The paper, titled “Gender Differences in HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Clients of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs in the U.S.” studied the differences in sexual risk behaviors by gender and over time among patients from 12 community-based substance use disorder treatment programs throughout the United States.
[Photo: Dr. Kesheng Wang]
Studies have shown that the behaviors of substance users, such as injection practices, risky sexual acts, and sub-optimal rates of adherence to treatment regimens among those who are already HIV-infected cause high rates of HIV transmission and acquisition in this population. This study reviewed 777 male and 504 female participants from 12 community-based substance use disorder treatment programs in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. The research identified significant reductions most types of sexual risk behaviors among substance users regardless of the intervention arms. There were, however, significant gender differences in sexual risk behaviors. For example, men reported more condomless sex partners, and more condomless sex acts within 2 hours of using drugs or alcohol. The study concluded gender-specific interventions are called for in substance use disorder treatment.
Dr. Yue Pan (a former MS student from East Tennessee) of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is primary author for the paper. Archives of Sexual Behavior is the official publication of the International Academy of Sex Research.