Between-City Variation in Frequency of Injection Among Puerto Rican Injection Drug Users: East Harlem, New York, and Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Center for Addiction Studies, Universidad Central del Caribe, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, USA.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.65). 07/2001; 27(4).

ABSTRACT Frequency of injection has been consistently found to be higher among Puerto Rican Injection drug users (IDUs) than among other groups of IDUs. Several explanations have been suggested, but an empirical explanation has yet to be presented. This study compares the frequency of injection of Puerto Rican IDUs in East Harlem, New York, with that of IDUs in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Study subjects comprised 521 Puerto Rican IDUs from East Harlem and 303 IDUs from Bayamon. The mean frequency of injection among IDUs in East Harlem was 2.8, the corresponding mean in Bayamon was 5.4. Younger IDUs reported a higher number of daily injection episodes than older IDUs, and the IDU group in Bayamon was 5 years younger than the group in East Harlem. The drug use variables accounted for a greater portion of the between-city difference than the demographic and psychosocial variables. Use of noninjected drugs, as well as the use of prescribed methadone, were found to be associated with a lower number of daily injections. Conversely, injection of cocaine, injection of cocaine mixed with heroin ("speedball"), and injection of larger amounts of drug solution were found to be associated with a higher number of daily injections.
(C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present investigation is to provide an analysis of previous works on the epidemiology of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection from six countries throughout Latin America, to forecast the future HCV prevalence trends in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and to outline deficiencies in available data, highlighting the need for further research. Data references were identified through indexed journals and non-indexed sources. Overall, 1080 articles were reviewed and 150 were selected based on their relevance to this work. When multiple data sources were available for a key assumption, a systematic process using multi-objective decision analysis (MODA) was used to select the most appropriate sources. When data were missing, analogues were used. Data from other countries with similar risk factors and/or population compositions were used as a proxy to help predict the future trends in prevalence. The review indicates that the dominant genotype is type 1. HCV prevalence in the analysed countries ranges from 1 to 2.3%. The Latin American countries have been very proactive in screening their blood supplies, thus minimizing the risk of transmission through transfusion. This suggests that other risk factors are set to play a major role in continued new infections. The number of diagnosed and treated patients is low, thereby increasing the burden of complications such as liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. The HCV prevalence, according to our modelling is steady or increasing and the number of infected individuals will increase. The results herein reported should provide a foundation for informed planning efforts to tackle hepatitis.
    Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 07/2011; 31 Suppl 2:18-29. · 3.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little information exists on the population prevalence or geographic distribution of injection drug users (IDUs) who are Hispanic in the USA. Here, we present yearly estimates of IDU population prevalence among Hispanic residents of the 96 most populated US metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for 1992-2002. First, yearly estimates of the proportion of IDUs who were Hispanic in each MSA were created by combining data on (1) IDUs receiving drug treatment services in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s Treatment Entry Data System, (2) IDUs being tested in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HIV-Counseling and Testing System, and (3) incident AIDS diagnoses among IDUs, supplemented by (4) data on IDUs who were living with AIDS. Then, the resulting proportions were multiplied by published yearly estimates of the number of IDUs of all racial/ethnic groups in each MSA to produce Hispanic IDU population estimates. These were divided by Hispanic population data to produce population prevalence rates. Time trends were tested using mixed-effects regression models. Hispanic IDU prevalence declined significantly on average (1992 mean = 192, median = 133; 2002 mean = 144, median = 93; units are per 10,000 Hispanics aged 15-64). The highest prevalence rates across time tended to be in smaller northeastern MSAs. Comparing the last three study years to the first three, prevalence decreased in 82% of MSAs and increased in 18%. Comparisons with data on drug-related mortality and hepatitis C mortality supported the validity of the estimates. Generally, estimates of Hispanic IDU population prevalence were higher than published estimates for non-Hispanic White residents and lower than published estimates for non-Hispanic Black residents. Further analysis indicated that the proportion of IDUs that was Hispanic decreased in 52% and increased in 48% of MSAs between 2002 and 2007. The estimates resulting from this study can be used to investigate MSA-level social and economic factors that may have contributed to variations across MSAs and to help guide prevention program planning for Hispanic IDUs within MSAs. Future research should attempt to determine to what extent these trends are applicable to Hispanic national origin subgroups.
    Journal of Urban Health 03/2012; 89(3):527-64. · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is a key element in treatment for opiate addiction; however concerns about the diversion of methadone remain. More current empirical data on methadone diversion are required. This research investigated the market for diverted methadone in Merseyside, UK, in order to provide a case study which can be transferred to other areas undertaking methadone maintenance treatment on a large scale. Questionnaires were completed (in interview format) with 886 past year users of methadone recruited both in and out of prescribing agencies. Topic areas covered included current prescribing, obtaining and providing methadone, reasons for using illicit methadone and other drug use. Large proportions of participants had obtained illicit methadone for use in the past year with smaller proportions doing so in the past month. Proportions of participants buying and being given methadone were similar. Exchange of methadone primarily took place between friends and associates, with 'dealers' rarely involved. Gender, age, whether participant's methadone consumption was supervised and whether the aims of their treatment had been explained to them fully, influenced the extent to which participants were involved in diverting or using diverted methadone. Methadone diversion is widespread although drug users generally do not make use of illicit methadone regularly (every month). The degree of altruism involved in the exchange of methadone does not negate the potential role of this action in overdose or the possibility of criminal justice action against individuals. Treatment agencies need to emphasise these risks whilst ensuring that treatment aims are effectively shared with clients to ensure adherence to treatment.
    Harm Reduction Journal 01/2012; 9:3. · 1.26 Impact Factor