Sexual practices in a cohort of US women with and without human immunodeficiency virus. HERS Study. HIV Epidemiology Research Study.

S. Zierler, K. Mayer, J. Moore, M. Stein, E. Schoenbaum, P. Schuman, A. Rompalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To compare the frequency and pattern of sexual activities of women infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) relative to uninfected women at the time of enrollment into a multisite cohort study. METHODS: The HIV Epidemiology Research Study (HERS) is a prospective study following 873 HIV-infected and 438 HIV-uninfected women. The baseline protocol included interviews about sexual practices, sociodemographic information, and drug and alcohol use, as well as clinical and laboratory studies. Multiple logistic regression models estimated differences between infected and uninfected women in relation to sexual activity and practice. RESULTS: 77% of infected women and 89% of uninfected women reported at least one sexual partner in the six months before study entry. Among sexually active women, specific practices varied little by HIV serostatus, with the exception of oral sex, which was more frequently performed and received by uninfected women. Despite the high prevalence of sexual activity, infected women were 2.5 times as likely not to have had any recent sexual partners as uninfected women (95% CI = 1.77-3.44). CONCLUSIONS: Women who decrease or altogether stop engaging in sexual partnerships may benefit from direct counseling in relation to underlying loss of sexual affection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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