Associations between biologically confirmed marijuana use and laboratory-confirmed sexually transmitted diseases among African American adolescent females

Adrian Liau, Ralph J. Diclemente, Gina M. Wingood, Richard A. Crosby, Kim M. Williams, Kathy Harrington, Susan L. Davies, Edward W. Hook, M. Kim Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Numerous studies have examined the association between adolescents' marijuana use and their high-risk sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). However, the validity of the findings is questionable because most of the studies relied on self-reporting for measurement of marijuana use and key outcome (i.e., STDs). Goal: The goal was to investigate associations between biologically confirmed marijuana use and laboratory-confirmed STDs and condom use. Study Design: African American females adolescents (n = 522) completed a self-administered survey and face-to-face interview. The adolescents provided urine and vaginal swab specimens that were analyzed for marijuana metabolites and STDs, respectively. Results: Among the study subjects, 5.4% tested positive for marijuana. These adolescents were more likely to test positive for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.4) and Chlamydia trachomatis (AOR = 3.9). They were more likely to have never used condoms in the previous 30 days (AOR = 2.9) and to have not used condoms consistently in the previous 6 months (AOR = 3.6). Conclusion: The findings represent unique biologic evidence that STDs and sexual risk behavior may co-occur with marijuana use. Interventions designed to reduce adolescents' risk of STDs and HIV infection should address marijuana use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-390
Number of pages4
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume29
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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