Mayra Soto López

Central University of the Caribbean, Bayamon, Cidra, Puerto Rico

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Publications (3)7.29 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The practice of injecting shared drugs, in which drug users prepare, divide and inject portions of a drug solution, is a means of transmitting HIV, HCV, and other blood-borne pathogens. This study examined the process of injecting shared drugs among drug users in San Juan, Puerto Rico, through detailed observations of 25 episodes of the injection of shared drugs, and by informal interviewing of episode participants. The ways in which price and packaging of drugs, access to drug preparation materials, and social and economic relations between drug-sharing "partners" influence the process of injecting shared drugs are explored. Because differential power relations, and in turn, injection drug users' exposure to HIV and HCV, are apparent in some drug-sharing partnerships, a key objective of this study was to extend our understanding of contributions or "investments" made by different drug-sharing partners, the benefits and costs that different partners experience, and the extent to which IDUs assume different partner roles. The findings of this small, in-depth qualitative study provide insight into drug users' motivations for injecting shared drugs, and suggest reasons why certain standardized, countrywide HIV/HCV intervention efforts have not been entirely successful in preventing the devastating illnesses that disproportionately affect injection drug users.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2005 · Journal of psychoactive drugs
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    ABSTRACT: This study integrates the results of quantitative and qualitative methods to elucidate the association between sexual identity and physical and sexual abuse among Puerto Rican drug users. A structured questionnaire was administered to 800 subjects in New York and 399 in Puerto Rico. A total of 93 subjects (7.9%) self-identified as homosexual or bisexual. Gay males were significantly more likely than heterosexual males to report first occurrence of physical abuse by a family member in childhood. Both gay and bisexual males were more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report first experiencing unwanted sex in childhood and intimate partner physical abuse later in life. Lesbians were more likely than female heterosexuals to report unwanted sex in childhood. Qualitative data were collected through in-depth life histories with 21 subjects and suggest that gay and lesbian subjects perceive antihomosexual prejudice on the part of family members as one cause of childhood physical and sexual abuse.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2003 · The Journal of Sex Research
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    ABSTRACT: Quantitative and qualitative data are used to compare alternative sources of syringes, including syringe exchange programs (SEPs), accessed by 165 Puerto Rican injection drug users (IDUs) in East Harlem, New York (NY), and 115 in Bayamn, Puerto Rico (PR). IDUs in PR obtained, on average, 45.2% of their syringes from syringe sellers, 18.0% from pharmacies, and 17.6% from a SEP. By contrast, IDUs in NY obtained 55.0% of their syringes from SEPs and 22.9% from syringe sellers. Compared to their island counterparts, IDUs in NY received significantly more syringes from SEPs (NY, 104.5; PR, 9.2) in the prior 30 days, and were more likely to be referred by SEPs to drug treatment and HIV/TB-testing services. The results of this study suggest the need in Puerto Rico to eliminate restrictive syringe exchange policies, reform drug paraphernalia laws to protect SEP clients, and address police harassment related to carrying syringes.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2000 · AIDS and Behavior