Young people aged 15–24 years account for half of all new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. The aim of this study was to examine the cross-sectional associations of factors linked to STIs among US young adults (18–25 years). This study used the 2015–2018 pooled National Survey on Drug Use and Health data on 55,690 young adults. Almost 3.4% of the respondents reported having an STI in the past year. Among the participants, 38.4% used illicit drugs and 3.7% reported a history of delinquency in the past year. In the survey-weighted logistic regression model, odds for contracting STIs in the preceding year was higher among adults aged 22–25 versus 18–21 years (OR:1.26, 95%CI:1.12–1.42); male versus female (OR:2.44, 95%CI:2.11–2.82); non-Hispanic African American versus non-Hispanic White (OR:1.77, 95%CI:1.55–2.02); widowed/separated/divorced (OR:1.93, 95%CI:1.36–2.75) and never married (OR:1.29, 95%CI:1.07–1.55) versus married; full-time/part-time employed (aOR:1.17, 95% CI:1.04–1.31) compared to unemployed/other; history of delinquency (OR:2.31, 95%CI:1.89–2.83); and use of illicit drugs in the last year (OR:3.10, 95%CI:2.77–3.47). High incidence of illicit drug use by the young adults and its strong association with STI incidence in recent years warrant special attention. Tailored preventive measures should be focused on key predictors.
- illicit drugs
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- young adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)