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The present study utilizes a large, representative sample of female adolescents to assess associations between physical and sexual dating violence and STD/HIV testing and diagnosis.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is conducted in a majority of states every 2 years to track the incidence and prevalence of leading causes of morbidity and mortality among high school students.
Differences in rates of dating violence, STD/HIV testing, and STD/HIV diagnosis based on demographics were assessed by using χ analyses.
Logistic-regression models were constructed to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for STD/HIV testing and diagnosis outcomes based on experiences of physical or sexual dating violence, using respondents indicating no experiences of dating violence as a referent group; models were adjusted for demographics and sexual risk behaviors for STD/HIV (Table 2) to better estimate the contribution of experiences of dating violence to STD/HIV outcomes.
Dating violence victimization was measured by a single survey item that asked: “Have you ever been hurt physically or sexually by a date or someone you were going out with?
This would include being hurt by being shoved, slapped, hit, or forced into any sexual activity.” Response choices were: “I have never been on a date or gone out with anyone” (2001 only); “No, I have never been hurt by a date or someone I was going out with”; “Yes, I was hurt physically”; “Yes, I was hurt sexually”; and “Yes, I was hurt both physically and sexually.” These responses were then recoded into exclusive dichotomous variables: physical dating violence only, sexual dating violence only, and both physical and sexual dating violence, with the referent group being those who indicated that they had never experienced dating violence or had never been on a date (2001 only).
Responses to these items were dichotomized as “yes” or “no.”Lifetime prevalence rates for any physical or sexual dating violence, STD/HIV testing, and STD/HIV diagnosis and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for the total sample and demographic groupings (Table 1).Because of the nature of the present analyses, all variables were dichotomized with the exception of age, which was categorized as seen in Table 1.Race/ethnicity was dichotomized as white or nonwhite because of the high percentage of white respondents compared with other racial/ethnic groups.In 1999, a total of 4415 of the 5589 students in selected classrooms completed the survey, resulting in a 79% student-participation rate.In 2001, a total of 4204 students of the 5223 in selected classes completed the survey, yielding a participation rate of 80%.
A community-based study of black female adolescents found that physical dating violence was linked with both increased perceived risk for STD (not including HIV) and increased likelihood of STD diagnosis the findings may not be generalizable to all adolescent females.