Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Risk Behavior, and Recent Substance Use in a Sample of Urban Drug Users: Findings by Race and Sex


The aim of the current study was to examine the prevalence of HIV, past six-month illicit drug use, and risk behaviors among a population of heavy drug users living in an urban setting. Although many studies investigate substance use, sex-risk behavior, and HIV by race and gender, no studies have examined these variables simultaneously. The current study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by exploring HIV prevalence among a predominantly heterosexual sample of recent substance users by injection drug use (IDU) status, race, and sex. Baseline data from the Baltimore site of the NEURO-HIV epidemiologic study was used in this study. This study examines neuropsychological and social-behavioral risk factors of HIV, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C among both injection and non-injection drug users. Descriptive statistics and chi-square statistics were used in data analyses. Blood and urine samples were obtained to test for the presence of recent drug use, viral hepatitis, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Findings presented here have several important implications for HIV prevention and care among substance users. Intervention programs that incorporate substance use treatment in addition to HIV education, particularly with respect to substance use and sex risk behavior are imperative.

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R. C. Trenz, L. R. Pacek, M. Scherer, P. T. Harrell, J. Zur and W. W. Latimer, "Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Risk Behavior, and Recent Substance Use in a Sample of Urban Drug Users: Findings by Race and Sex," World Journal of AIDS, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 183-193. doi: 10.4236/wja.2012.23024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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