Partnership types and coital frequency as predictors of gonorrhea and chlamydia among young MSM and young transgender women

Patrick Janulis, Steven M. Goodreau, Martina Morris, Michelle Birkett, Gregory Phillips, Kathryn Risher, Brian Mustanski, Samuel M. Jenness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sexually transmitted infections pose a major public health challenge in the United States and this burden is especially acute in subpopulations like young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and young transgender women (YTW). Yet, the direct behavioral antecedents of these infections are not well understood making it difficult to identify the cause of recent increases in incidence. This study examines how variations in partnership rates and the number of condomless sex acts are associated with STI infections among YMSM-YTW. Method: This study leveraged 3 years of data from a large longitudinal cohort of YMSM-YTW. A series of generalized linear mixed models examined the association between the number of condomless anal sex acts, number of one-time partners, number of casual partners, and number of main partners and chlamydia, gonorrhea, or any STI. Results: Results indicated the number of casual partners was associated with gonorrhea [aOR = 1.17 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.26)], chlamydia [aOR = 1.12 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.20)], and any STI [aOR = 1.14 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.21)] while the number of one-time partners was only associated with gonorrhea [aOR = 1.13 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.26)]. The number of condomless anal sex acts was not associated with any outcome. Conclusion: These findings suggest the number of casual partners is a consistent predictor of STI infection among YMSM-YTW. This may reflect the quick saturation of risk within partnerships making the number of partners, rather than the number of acts, the more relevant factor for STI risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-701
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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