Risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection in intravenous drug users

Ellie Schoenbaum, D. Hartel, Peter A. Selwyn, R. S. Klein, K. Davenny, M. Rogers, C. Feiner, G. Friedland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

To identify risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in intravenous drug users, we undertook a study of the seroprevalence of HIV antibody in 452 persons enrolled in a methadone-treatment program in the Bronx, New York. The seroprevalence of HIV was 39.4 percent overall, 49.1 percent in blacks, 41.8 percent in Hispanics, and 17.2 percent in non-Hispanic whites (P < 0.001 for all comparisons). The presence of HIV antibody was associated with the number of injections per month (P < 0.001), the percentage of injections with used needles (P < 0.001), the average number of injections with cocaine per month (P < 0.001), and the percentage of injections with needles that were shared with strangers or acquaintances (P < 0.001), a practice that was more common among blacks and Hispanics than among whites. The number of heterosexual sex partners who used intravenous drugs was associated with HIV infection in women (P < 0.004) and was the only risk factor found for users who had not injected drugs after 1982 (P < 0.05). The presence of HIV antibody was independently associated with being black or Hispanic (adjusted odds ratio, 4.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.65 to 8.14), a more recent year of the last injection of drugs (adjusted odds ratio, 1.24; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.35), the percentage of injections of drugs that took place in 'shooting galleries' (adjusted odds ratio, 1.49; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.19 to 1.88), having sex partners who used intravenous drugs (adjusted odds ratio 1.24; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.45), and low income (adjusted odds ratio, 1.55; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.10 to 2.17). We conclude that differences in both the social setting of drug use and behavior related to injection carry different risks for infection with HIV and may explain, in part, the higher seroprevalence of HIV among blacks and Hispanics. In addition, we found that heterosexual activity was an independent risk factor for drug users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-879
Number of pages6
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume321
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1989

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Virus Diseases
Drug Users
HIV
Injections
Hispanic Americans
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Seroepidemiologic Studies
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Heterosexuality
Needles
Antibodies
Methadone
Cocaine
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Schoenbaum, E., Hartel, D., Selwyn, P. A., Klein, R. S., Davenny, K., Rogers, M., ... Friedland, G. (1989). Risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection in intravenous drug users. New England Journal of Medicine, 321(13), 874-879.

Risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection in intravenous drug users. / Schoenbaum, Ellie; Hartel, D.; Selwyn, Peter A.; Klein, R. S.; Davenny, K.; Rogers, M.; Feiner, C.; Friedland, G.

In: New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 321, No. 13, 1989, p. 874-879.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schoenbaum, E, Hartel, D, Selwyn, PA, Klein, RS, Davenny, K, Rogers, M, Feiner, C & Friedland, G 1989, 'Risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection in intravenous drug users', New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 321, no. 13, pp. 874-879.
Schoenbaum, Ellie ; Hartel, D. ; Selwyn, Peter A. ; Klein, R. S. ; Davenny, K. ; Rogers, M. ; Feiner, C. ; Friedland, G. / Risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection in intravenous drug users. In: New England Journal of Medicine. 1989 ; Vol. 321, No. 13. pp. 874-879.
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