Objectives. We examined correlates of incarceration among young methamphetamine users in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2005 to 2006. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 1189 young methamphetamine users. Participants were surveyed about their recent drug use, sexual behaviors, and incarceration. Biological samples were obtained to test for sexually transmitted and viral infections. Results. Twenty-two percent of participants reported ever having been incarcerated. In multivariate analysis, risk behaviors including frequent public drunkenness, starting to use illicit drugs at an early age, involvement in the drug economy, tattooing, injecting drugs, and unprotected sex were correlated with a history of incarceration. HIV, HCV, and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection were also correlated with incarceration. Conclusions. Incarcerated methamphetamine users are engaging in behaviors and being exposed to environments that put them at increased risk of infection and harmful practices. Alternatives to incarceration need to be explored for youths.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health