Interaction Between 5-HTTLPR Polymorphism and Abuse History on Adolescent African-American Females' Condom Use Behavior Following Participation in an HIV Prevention Intervention

Jessica M. Sales, Ralph J. DiClemente, Gene H. Brody, Robert A. Philibert, Eve Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Not everyone exposed to an efficacious human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intervention will reduce sexual risk behaviors, yet little is known about factors associated with "failure to change" high-risk sexual behaviors post-intervention. History of abuse and polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT) may be associated with non-change. The current study sought to identify genetic, life history, and psychosocial factors associated with adolescents' failure to change condom use behaviors post-participation in an HIV prevention intervention. A sub-set of participants from a clinic-based sample of adolescent African-American females (N = 254) enrolled in a randomized trial of an HIV-prevention was utilized for the current study. Forty-four percent did not increase their condom use from baseline levels 6 months after participating in the sexually transmitted infection (STI)/HIV prevention intervention. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, an interaction between abuse and 5-HTTLPR group was significantly associated with non-change status, along with partner communication frequency scores at follow-up. Follow-up tests found that having a history of abuse was significantly associated with greater odds of non-change in condom use post-intervention for only those with the s allele. For those with ll allele, participants with higher partner communication frequency scores were at decreased odds of non-change in condom use post-intervention. Thus, STI/HIV interventions for adolescent females may consider providing a more in-depth discussion and instruction on how to manage and overcome fear or anxiety related to being assertive in sexual decisions or sexual situations. Doing so may improve the efficacy of STI/HIV prevention programs for adolescent women who have experienced abuse in their lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014



  • 5-HTTLPR
  • Abuse
  • Adolescent females
  • Condom use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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