HIV-positive youths are taking more sex risks
March 05 2005 12:00 AM ET
More HIV-positive youths are engaging in risky sex since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy in 1996 than their pre-HAART peers, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The 1999-2000 study of HIV-positive teenagers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Miami showed that the post-HAART teens were twice as likely to have had unprotected sex in the prior three months than 1994-1996 pre-HAART study subjects. The post-HAART youths also had almost double the number of sex partners and were more likely to have had an injection drug-using sexual partner than pre-HAART teens, according to the study. The study does not prove the increase in risk behavior is HAART-related, but "these findings indicate the need for continued attention to the issue of sexual risk and the impact" of the new drugs, lead author Marguerita Lightfoot writes in the American Journal of Health Behavior.