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Keywords:

  • Black;
  • Hispanic;
  • Sexual Health;
  • Probability Sample;
  • Sexual Behavior;
  • African American;
  • Latino

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Little is known about the prevalence of sexual behaviors among the black and Hispanic populations in the United States outside the context of sexual risk and disease transmission in “high-risk” samples.

Aim.  This study sought to establish current rates of sexual behaviors, sexual health care practices (i.e., experiences with testing and diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections [STIs]), and condom use in a probability sample of black and Hispanic adult men and women in the United States.

Main Outcome Measures.  Sexual behaviors including solo masturbation, partnered masturbation, receiving oral sex and giving oral sex, vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse were assessed. Self-reported rates of HIV and other STI testing, and self-reported history of STI diagnosis were examined. Also assessed were rates of condom use during most recent and past 10 vaginal intercourse events.

Methods.  Data from a probability sample of 1246 black and Hispanic adults were analyzed to explore sexual behaviors, condom use, and STI testing and diagnosis trends.

Results.  Masturbation, oral sex, and vaginal intercourse were prevalent among black and Hispanic men and women throughout the life course. Anal intercourse and same-gender sexual activities were less common. Self-reported rates of HIV testing were relatively high but varied by gender across age groups. Similarly, rates of testing for other STI were high and differed by gender across age groups. Overall rates of condom use among black and Hispanic men and women were relatively high and did not appear to be related to a variety of situational factors including location of sexual encounter, relationship status, other contraceptive use, and substance use during sexual activity.

Conclusion.  These data provide a foundation for understanding diverse sexual behaviors, sexual health-care practices, and condom use among the general population of black and Hispanic men and women in the United States. Dodge B, Reece M, Herbenick D, Schick V, Sanders SA, and Fortenberry JD. Sexual health among U.S. black and Hispanic men and women: a nationally representative study. J Sex Med 2010;7(suppl 5):330–345.