PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 1 (UPI) — Teens who use crack or cocaine are more likely to have unprotected sex, increasing their risk of HIV, U.S. researchers found.
The study involved 280 teens — more than half male and three-quarters Caucasian — ages 13-18 from therapeutic psychiatric day programs, who exhibited a range of psychiatric diagnoses, including mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and disruptive behavior disorders. About 13 percent reported trying crack or cocaine at least once.
After controlling for known adolescent HIV risk factors including gender, race, age and psychiatric status, the study found 47 percent of teens with a history of crack or cocaine said they used condoms “always or almost always.”
Fifteen percent of the study subjects had a history of sexually transmitted diseases. The study also found 71 percent, who said they never used crack or cocaine, said they used condoms consistently.
The findings are published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.
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