PURPOSE - To characterize sexual behaviors and sociodemographic factors that are associated with douching among geographically diverse adolescent women with and without HIV infection.
METHODS - HIV infected subjects recruited preferentially and behaviorally comparable high-risk HIV uninfected subjects were enrolled in a prospective HIV study from 15 sites in 13 U.S. cities. Baseline interview data from 1996 to 1999 for females aged 12 to 19 years were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and multiple logistic regression.
RESULTS - Among the 342 females/young women, 74.9% were black (non-Hispanic), 11.1% Hispanic/Latina, and 14.0% white or other race/ethnicity; 63.5% were HIV infected. Young women who had dropped out of high school comprised 23.4% of subjects. In the 3 months before the interview, 179 (52.3%) adolescents had douched at least once. In a multivariable logistic regression model, recent douching was more common among sexually active females (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.2), Blacks (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.1 vs. Hispanics/Whites/others), females who dropped out of high school (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.2-3.7), and HIV infected females (OR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.04-2.7).
CONCLUSIONS - In this nationwide study, adolescents who are sexually active, African-American, dropped out of high school, and HIV infected were most likely to douche. Interventions to discourage douching should pay special attention to these populations.