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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Correlates of HIV infection among young adult short-term injection drug users.

Author: Doherty,-Meg-C; Garfein,-Richard-S; Monterroso,-Edgar; Brown,-Donald; Vlahov,-David
Author Background: Johns Hopkins U, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Dept of Epidemiology, Infectious Disease Program, Baltimore, MD, US
Date 4/2000
Type Journal
Journal Title: AIDS
Volume/Pages Vol 14(6): 717-726
Subject Matter Youths, HIV, Gender, Human Sex Differences; Intravenous Drug Usage; Psychosexual Behavior, Age Differences; Racial and Ethnic Differences, Research
Abstract Investigated the risks of HIV infection among young, short-term injection drug users (IDUs), with an emphasis on behaviors at the initiation of drug use and the sexual behaviors linked to drug use. Study Ss were 229 IDUs (aged 18-29 yrs) participating in the REACH project. Variables included age, gender, race, circumstances regarding the time of first injection, choice of drugs, sexual preference, number of partners, trading sex for money or drugs, history of sexual assault, and ever having a sex partner who was an IDU or who tested positive for HIV. Findings suggest there is a higher risk of HIV infection among younger, recently initiated IDUs compared with older, more experienced IDUs which may include specific practices influenced by the initiation itself. Although there was no gender difference at the time of initiation, men and women tend to have different risk profiles, with gender differences in lifetime and 6 mo behaviors emerging as women and men become more involved with drug use. Despite the fact that socio-demographic characteristics were not associated with HIV infection, traumatic events are prevalent among IDUs. The mechanisms by which early life traumas might affect later drug misuse, injection initiation, and high-risk sexual behaviors remains to be clarified. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)