Latent Growth Curve Modeling of Non-Injection Drug Use and Condomless Sexual Behavior from Ages 18 to 21 in Gay, Bisexual, and Other YMSM: The P18 Cohort Study

Perry N. Halkitis, Kristen Bub, Christopher B. Stults, Francesca C. Bates, Farzana Kapadia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: HIV/AIDS continues to be a health disparity faced by sexual minority men, and is exacerbated by non-injection drug use. Objectives: We sought to delineate growth in non-injection drug use and condomless sex in a sample of racially and economically diverse of gay, bisexual, and other young men who have sex with men (YMSM) as they emerged into adulthood between the ages of 18 and 21 and who came of age in the post-HAART era. Methods: Behavioral data on drug use and condomless sex, collected via a calendar based technique over 7 waves of a cohort study of 600 YMSM, were analyzed using latent growth curve modeling to document patterns of growth in these behaviors, their associations, and the extent to which patterns and associations are moderated by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Results: Significant growth was noted in the frequencies of condomless oral and anal intercourse, alcohol to intoxication, marijuana use, and inhalant nitrate use. High levels of association were noted between all behaviors across time but associations did not differ by either race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status. The link between drug use and risky sexual behavior continue to be evident in YMSM with significant increases in these behaviors demonstrated as YMSM transition between adolescence and young adulthood. Conclusions/Importance: Healthcare for a new generation of sexual minority males must address the synergy of these behaviors and also nest HIV prevention and care within a larger context of sexual minority health that acknowledges the advances made in the last three decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018



  • Drug use
  • HIV
  • YMSM
  • cohort study
  • condomless sex
  • latent growth curve modeling
  • longitudinal
  • sexual minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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