Two hundred and sixty-one intravenous (IV) drug users, distributed between a methadone maintenance program and a large detention facility in New York City, were interviewed about knowledge of AIDS, needle use practices, and risk-reduction efforts. Ninety-seven per cent of subjects recognized needle-sharing as an AIDS risk factor; subjects showed less awareness about the effectiveness of certain risk-reduction techniques and tended to over-estimated the risk of casual contact. Of those still sharing needles at the time of first becoming aware of AIDS, 63% reported having subsequently either stopped needle-sharing or caused IV drug use entirely. Logistic regression analysis indicated that continued needle-sharing behavior was associated with the detention facility site and lower scores on an AIDS knowledge questionnaire; reduced needle-sharing was more evident among methadone program patients and among subjects with greater knowledge about AIDS. The most common reasons for continued needle-sharing among those who continued to share needles despite knowledge of risk were: 'need to inject drugs, with no clean needle available' and 'only share with close friend or relative', offered by 46 and 45% of subjects, respectively. Results suggest that certain subgroups of IV drug users have adopted risk-reduction measures in response to AIDS. Expanded educational programs, increased drug treatment capacity, and additional strategies addressing drug users' access to sterile injection equipment and the social context of needle-sharing may be necessary to curb the further spread of AIDS among IV drug users.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases