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: 4.56). 07/2001; 27(4). DOI: 10.1097/00126334-200108010-00012


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.

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    • "These population figures include the 3.9 million people who live on the Island of Puerto Rico, the only Latino group living outside of the 50 States to possess US citizenship. Despite a complex plenary connection to the United States as a territory, Puerto Ricans have the worst overall heath outcomes in comparison to other Latino ethnic groups (Delgado, 2007; Hajat, Lucas, and Kington, 2000) and are particularly susceptible to increased infection of HIV (Colón et al., 2001). HIV seroprevalence is higher among Puerto Ricans compared to other groups of "
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    ABSTRACT: This study explored whether place of birth and residence was associated with needle sharing for Puerto Rican injection drug users (IDUs) (N = 348). In-person interviews were conducted in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts during 2005-2007. Multivariate regression analyses revealed IDUs born and living in Puerto Rico were four times more likely to have shared needles compared to those residing in Massachusetts. Respondents residing in Massachusetts were 76% less likely to have ever shared needles with an HIV-positive individual, controlling for covariates. Findings highlight the increased HIV-risk of Puerto Rican IDUs born and residing in Puerto Rico. Prevention and treatment needs are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Substance Use & Misuse
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    • "Approximately 21.8% of NIDUs and 52.6% of IDUs in this sample of street-recruited drug users had used illicit methadone in their lifetime and 11.8 and 34.1% had used within the last six months, respectively. A previous study had estimated a 21.3% past month prevalence for illicit methadone among Puerto Rican IDUs in East Harlem, New York [25]. In Australia, the lifetime and six month prevalence of injected methadone was 18.4% and 11.0%, respectively [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite growing concern about illicit methadone use in the US and other countries, there is little data about the prevalence and correlates of methadone use in large urban areas. We assessed the prevalence and examined correlates of lifetime and recent illicit methadone use in New York City (NYC). 1,415 heroin, crack, and cocaine users aged 15-40 years were recruited in NYC between 2000 and 2004 to complete interviewer-administered questionnaires. In multivariable logistic regression, non-injection drug users who used illicit methadone were more likely to be heroin dependent, less than daily methamphetamine users and to have a heroin using sex partner in the last two months. Injection drug users who used illicit methadone were more likely to use heroin daily, share injection paraphernalia and less likely to have been in a detoxification program and to have not used marijuana in the last six months. The results overall suggest that illicit (or street) methadone use is likely not a primary drug of choice, but is instead more common in concert with other illicit drug use.
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