Correlates of risky heterosexual behaviors among women who use methamphetamine
Women who use methamphetamine are at heightened risk of engaging in sexual behaviors that increase their odds of contracting HIV or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, little is known regarding correlates of such behaviors within this population. In a community-based sample of women who use methamphetamine (N = 322), we examined participant characteristics (i.e., demographics, drug- and sex-related behaviors, and mental health characteristics) associated with three operationalizations of risky heterosexual behaviors in the past 6 months (i.e., number of male partners, condomless sex with male partners, and both multiple male partners and condomless sex). Analyses revealed important distinctions in the correlates of risky heterosexual behaviors as a function of outcome. Results suggest that HIV and STI prevention strategies should consider characteristics associated with differing risky heterosexual behaviors. In addition, differences in correlates of these behaviors suggest a need for standardization in measurement and evaluation of sexual risk in research and practice with women who use methamphetamine.