Unfortunately, there exist only a few researches on adolescents and young adults living with HIV. From these studies, the authors have gathered that substance use, social sexual environment, psychosocial factors and partner characteristics are common factors in cases of young men with HIV. As such, the qualitative study was conducted to fully understand the significance of these factors on the particular minority group.
The authors invited 59 youths to participate in the study. After further screening, which included ethnicity, race, age and health among others, only 27 were included in the study. A variety of data was collected from a qualitative interview, brief quantitative survey and psychosocial measures. The information was then analyzed using STATA version 9.0 and ATLAS.ti® version 4.2 (VanDevanter, Duncan, Burrell-Piggot, Bleakley, Birnbaum, Siegel, Lekas, Schrimshaw, Cohall and Ramjohn, 2011) A preliminary coding scheme to identify patterns in the data were developed as well as a profile for each participant. Ultimately, the following definitions were used to analyze qualitative data: high-risk participants, moderate participants, low-risk participants and no-risk participants. (VanDevantar, et. al, 2011)
Due to computer error, only 25 results from the 27 participants were available. These results showed that all of the participants acquired HIV from having sex and that prior to having HIV, 20% had intercourse 11 years or younger and 72% had six or more lifetime partners. (VanDevantar, et. al, 2011) There were more participants who informed their partner of their HIV status and who reportedly used condoms the last time they had intercourse. A lot of the participants used alcohol, marijuana and other drugs during their lifetime and in the past thirty days. As for sexual risk behavior, only five participants were sexually inactive since being diagnosed with HIV. Condom use was not regular for the majority. There were many who had ten sexual partners in the past three months. Generally, substance use and social-sexual environment greatly contributed to the sexual behavior of high-risk participants. Participants shared that using drugs caused them to change their predisposition to use condoms. After using drugs, they became reckless and participated in unsafe sex. Meanwhile, participants were encouraged to seek out partners in certain environments that often lead to unprotected sex. The drive to have sex either increased or declined when participants learned they were HIV-positive. Condom use seemed to be dependent on the sexual partner’s characteristics, whether or not the partner is handsome or HIV-positive, as well as the participant’s belief of his or her partner’s responsibilities. The authors discussed the need for more intensive intervention programs for these youths. There is a need to address the issue of substance use as most of the participants engaged in high-risk sexual behavior when under the influence of drugs. Moreover, some participants had reported engaging in unprotected sex due to their line of work and the characteristics of their sexual partners, especially if the partner was also diagnosed with HIV. The discussion points are supported by the research.