Alcohol/Drug Exposure, HIV-Related Sexual Risk Among Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Youth: Evidence From a National Survey

Authors

  • Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler PhD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Program Evaluator, (srmikl@parknet.pmh.org), Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education and Training Center, Parkland Health and Hospital Systems, Chase Bank Building, 6300 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75235.
      Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Program Evaluator, (srmikl@parknet.pmh.org), Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education and Training Center, Parkland Health and Hospital Systems, Chase Bank Building, 6300 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75235.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Malembe S. Ebama MPH

    1. Doctoral Student, (mebama@live.unthsc.edu), University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76107.
    Search for more papers by this author

Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Program Evaluator, (srmikl@parknet.pmh.org), Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education and Training Center, Parkland Health and Hospital Systems, Chase Bank Building, 6300 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75235.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Migration of the native populations from reservations to the urban areas has resulted in mixed ethnicities of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) children. Minority youth require special attention and services in urban schools as they disproportionately experience poverty, low educational attainment, unemployment, and single-parent status.

METHODS: We used 2005 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data to examine alcohol/drug use patterns and their association with sexual risk taking among AIAN only (single-racial) and biracial youth in combination with White, African American, or Hispanic ethnicities (N = 1178).

RESULTS: Overall, one half of the students were sexually active, with significantly higher rates among males; AIAN-Black students initiated sex earlier than the other groups. Condom nonuse is higher among AIAN-Whites (>50%) compared to one third of AIAN-Hispanics and one fourth of AIAN-Blacks. Nearly 10% of all students, except AIAN-Blacks, reported lifetime use of heroin/meth. Sexual behavior was significantly associated with episodic drinking. Students with Hispanic background have twice the odds of being sexually active compared to AIANs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings underscore growing health care needs and targeted prevention initiatives for mixed racial underserved native youth. Urban school settings have potential to deliver services and offer alcohol/drug prevention programs to address the needs of mixed racial native urban youth. Using the School Based Health Clinic model has been successful; we need to reform prevention approaches to accommodate needs of multiracial urban native youth.

Ancillary