Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a life-long illness that affects millions across the globe. Young adult males, especially men who have sex with men (MSM), are at significant risk for the virus. This project examined a hypothesized association between marijuana use and HIV infection, comorbidity of HIV and other STIs, and potentially confounding variables in a sample of men tested for HIV in Columbus, Ohio.

The sample included a total of 898 non-Hispanic/Latino males (294 White, 604 Black/African-American, non-Hispanic/Latino males aged 18 to 74 years. All were tested for HIV between February 2013 and April 2013 by Columbus (Ohio) Public Health. Mean age, mean number of current sexual partners (past 12 months), mean number of HIV risk factors, and mean number of lifetime sexually transmitted diseases (STD) were calculated and used to generate general linear models that compared means across groups based on MSM status, race, and marijuana use. On mean, Black/African-American males reported more STDs, current sexual partners, and HIV risk factors than White males. MSM had more HIV risk factors and current sexual partners on mean than heterosexual males. Marijuana users had more HIV risk factors, STDs, and current sexual partners than those who did not report marijuana use. It is recommended that MSM use protection for sexual activities and be given access to evidence-based information on the association between marijuana use and increased risk for contracting HIV.

Additional Files

Hager_CEPosterFinal_7-25-14.pdf (193 kB)

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