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