Residential status and HIV risk behaviors among Puerto Rican drug injectors in New York and Puerto Rico

Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, Institute for AIDS Research, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., New York, New York, USA.
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (Impact Factor: 1.47). 11/2001; 27(4):719-735. DOI: 10.1081/ADA-100107664

ABSTRACT This article investigates the association between residential status and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviors among island and New York Puerto Rican injection drug users (IDUs). We assigned 561 subjects from New York City and 312 from Puerto Rico to five residential status categories: living in parent's home, living in own home, living in other's home, living in temporary housing (hotel, single-room occupancy [SRO] hotels), and homeless (living in streets/shelters). Dependent variables included injection- and sex-related risk behaviors (sharing syringes, sharing other injection paraphernalia, shooting gallery use, and having paid sex). Chi square, t tests, and multivariate logistic analysis tests were performed separately by site. About one-quarter of the sample in each site was homeless. Island Puerto Ricans were more likely to live with their parents (44% vs. 12%, p <. 001), and more New York IDUs lived in their own home (30% vs. 14%, p <. 001). In New York, gallery use and paid sex were associated with living in other's home, living in parent's home, and being homeless. Sharing paraphernalia was related to living in other's home, living in temporary housing, and being homeless. In Puerto Rico, having paid sex was associated with homelessness. High-risk behaviors were more likely among homeless IDUs in both sites. Programs to provide housing and target outreach and other prevention programs for homeless IDUs would be helpful in reducing HIV risk.

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    • "For HCV, the lack of significance may also be due in part to the high transmissibility of HCV in settings with moderate prevalence. Consistent with the literature, we found that frequent alcohol use, methamphetamine use, backloading, shooting gallery use and sex work were associated with being both homeless and equivocally housed (Andia et al., 2001; Deren et al., 2003; Diaz et al., 2001; Gleghorn et al., 1998; Koester et al., 2005; Metraux et al., 2004; O&apos;Toole et al., 2004; Semple et al., 2004). What was unique about this study was that we found these same associations to be true for younger IDUs as well. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using cross-sectional analysis we examined residential status and associated differences in HIV risk behaviors among 3266 young IDUs enrolled in an HIV prevention trial. A three-level outcome (homeless (37%), equivocally housed (17%), housed (46%)) was defined based on responses to two questions assessing subjective and objective criteria for homelessness: "equivocally housed" participants were discordant on these measures. In multivariate analysis, antecedents of homelessness were having lived in an out-of-home placement, been thrown out of the home or in juvenile detention, and experienced childhood abuse; while correlates included receiving income from other and illegal sources, drinking alcohol or using methamphetamine at least daily, using shooting galleries, backloading, and sex work. A subset of these variables was associated with being equivocally housed. HIV risk varies by housing status, with homeless IDUs at highest risk. Programs for IDUs should utilize a more specific definition of residential status to target IDUs needing intervention.
    AIDS and Behavior 12/2007; 11(6):854-63. DOI:10.1007/s10461-007-9248-1 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An HIV outbreak among Finnish injecting drug users (IDUs) occurred in 1998. By the end of 2005, 282 IDUs were in-fected, most of them by recombinant virus CRF01_AE of HIV. After a rapid spread, the outbreak subsided, and the prevalence of HIV among IDUs remained low (<2%). The purpose of the study was to describe the outbreak in order to recognise factors that have influenced the spread and restriction of the outbreak, and thus to find tools for HIV preven-tion. Data on Finnish IDUs newly diagnosed HIV-positive between 1998 and 2005 was collected through interviews and patient documents. Study I compared markers of disease progression between 93 Finnish IDUs and 63 Dutch IDUs. In study II, geographical spread of the HIV outbreak was examined and compared with the spatial distribution of employed males. In study III, risk behaviour data from interviews of 89 HIV-positive and 207 HIV-negative IDUs was linked, and prevalence and risk factors for unprotected sex were evaluated. In study IV, data on 238 newly diagnosed IDUs was combined with data on 675 sexually transmitted HIV cases, and risk factors for late HIV diagnosis (CD4 cell count <200/µL, or AIDS at HIV diagnosis) were analysed. Finnish IDUs infected with CRF01_AE exhibited higher viral loads than did Amsterdam IDUs infected with subtype B, but there was no difference in CD4 development. The Finnish IDU outbreak spread and was restricted socially in a marginalised IDU population and geographically in areas characterised by low proportions of employed males. Up to 40% of the cases in the two clusters outside the city centre had no contact with the centre, where needle exchange services were available since 1997. Up to 63% of HIV-positive and 80% of HIV-negative sexually active IDUs reported inconsistent condom use, which was associated with steady relationships and recent inpatient addiction care. Com-pared to other transmission groups, HIV-positive IDUs were diagnosed earlier in their infection. The proportion of late diagnosed HIV cases in all transmission groups was 23%, but was only 6% among IDUs diagnosed during the first four years of the epidemic. The high viral load in early HIV infection may have contributed to the rapid spread of recombinant virus in the Finnish outbreak. The outbreak was restricted to a marginalised IDU population, and limited spatially to local pockets of pov-erty. To prevent HIV among IDUs, these pockets should be recognised and reached early through outreach work and the distribution of needle exchange and other prevention activities. To prevent the sexual transmission of HIV among IDUs, prevention programmes should be combined with addiction care services and targeted at every IDU. The early detection of the outbreak and early implementation of needle exchange programmes likely played a crucial role in re-versing the IDU outbreak. Pistoshuumeiden käyttäjien HIV-epidemia todettiin pääkaupunkiseudulla vuonna 1998. Epidemia levisi aluksi nopeasti, mutta myös rajoittui muutamassa vuodessa. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli tunnistaa tekijöitä, jotka vaikuttivat epidemian leviämiseen ja rajoittumiseen, ja siten löytää keinoja HIV-epidemian ennaltaehkäisyyn. Aineisto käsitti 238 HIV-tartunnan saanutta pistoshuumeidenkäyttäjää, joiden tietoja verrattiin hollantilaisista HIV-positiivisista ja suomalaisista HIV-negatiivisista huumeidenkäyttäjistä kerättyihin tietoihin, miesten työllisyyslukujen alueelliseen jakaumaan ja pääkaupunkiseudun seksivälitteisiin HIV-tartuntoihin. HIV-epidemia levisi syrjäytyneiden pistoshuumeiden käyttäjien keskuudessa. Kaikki Helsingin keskustan ulkopuolella sijaitsevat huumeidenkäyttäjien rypäät sijaitsivat alueilla, joissa miesten työllisyysluvut olivat alle 70%. Muissa tutkimuksissa on osoitettu puhtaiden pistosvälineiden saatavuuden estävän HIV:n leviämistä. Pääkaupunkiseudun epidemiassa 40% keskustan ulkopuolella asuvista huumeidenkäyttäjistä jäi pistosvälineiden vaihdon ja terveysneuvonnan ulkopuolelle, koska heillä ei ollut yhteyksiä keskustaan, jossa terveysneuvonta ja pistosvälineiden vaihto aloitettin juuri ennen epidemiaa. Suomessa levinnyt viruksen alatyyppi (CRF01_AEfin) edesauttoi epidemian leviämistä, sillä suomalaisilla huumeidenkäyttäjillä todettiin korkeampia veren viruspitoisuuksia kuin hollantilaisilla B-alatyypin viruksella infektoituneilla huumeidenkäyttäjillä. Veren korkea viruspitoisuus lisää tartuttavuutta. HIV ei levinnyt ydinjoukon ulkopuolelle eikä uusille alueille. Epidemian rajoittumiseen vaikutti todennäköisesti sen varhainen toteaminen terveysneuvonnan kehittymisen ohella. Huumeidenkäyttäjien HIV-tartunnoista 1998-2001 vain 6% todettiin myöhäisessä vaiheessa (veren CD4-solut alle 200/µL tai AIDS-vaiheessa), kun kaikista pääkaupunkiseudun HIV-tartunnoista 23% todettiin myöhään. Yli puolet huumeidenkäyttäjien tartunnoista todettiin vankiloissa, päihdehoidossa tai terveysneuvontapisteissä; paikoissa joissa HIV-testiä tarjotaan aktiivisesti. HIV voi yhä levitä huumeiden käyttäjien keskuudessa joko pistämisen tai seksin välityksellä. Suojaamaton seksi on yleistä sekä HIV-positiivisten että HIV-negatiivisten huumeiden käyttäjien keskuudessa, etenkin vakituisissa suhteissa ja hiljattain päihdehoitoa tarvinneilla. Seksuaaliterveyden neuvontaa tulisi tarjota kaikille huumeidenkäyttäjille ja heidän seksikumppaneilleen. Terveysneuvonnan alueellinen hajauttaminen ja kohdistettu etsivä työ ovat avainasemassa huumeidenkäyttäjien HIV-tartuntojen toteamiseksi varhain ja epidemioiden ehkäisemiseksi.
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