In the early years of the HIV epidemic, little attention was given to the reproductive decisions among people living with HIV (PLWH) because of the risk of mortality and a few options to reduce mother to child transmission. Risky behaviours such as inconsistent condom use, increased numbers of sex partners, sex while high on drugs, and sex with high-risk partners, are some of the behavioral factors associated with higher STI acquisition, which can have severe negative health and mental health sequelae for adolescents and they are having multiple risks for exposure to HIV. (Dexter R. Voisin, Sexual Sensation Seeking, Drug Use and Risky Sex among Detained Youth). Recently social and cultural aspects such as ethnicity, poverty, gender relations, and geographic region have also been identified as risk factors and have fueled the epidemic among vulnerable populations around the globe. Over the course of the HIV epidemic in the U.S., the rate of new infections declined in the early 1990s amongst primarily white MSM but began to rise amongst minority populations for both MSM and heterosexual men and women in urban areas and in the rural south. During this time, poverty, lack of education, injection drug use (IDU) and commercial sex were identified as risk behaviors linked with horizontal HIV transmission. South Africa is a well known example of hyperendemic HIV rates in low to middle-income countries. In these contexts, using the sociocultural perspective is key to understanding and addressing epidemic hotspots around the world and any associated HIV risk behavior. (Vincent C. Marconi, Understanding HIV Risk Behavior from a Sociocultural Perspective).
Last date updated on April, 2021