Gender and race as correlates of high risk sex behaviors among injection drug users at risk for HIV enrolled in the HPTN 037 study

Mandy J. Hill, Michael Holt, Brett Hanscom, Zhe Wang, Marylou Cardenas-Turanzas, Carl A Latkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Sexual contact has been shown to be a major mode of HIV transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID). This study examined gender and racial differences among PWID’ sexual risk behaviors from the perspective of sexual scripts. Methods: 696 PWID enrolled from Philadelphia on HPTN 037 were classified as engaging in high-risk sex behaviors if they reported having sex in the past 30 days and condomless sex with a non-primary partner, giving/receiving sex for money, or multiple partners. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to assess associations between demographic factors and high risk sex. Results: Findings of the multivariable regression analysis demonstrated that being White (OR = 0.52, p < 0.001) and male (OR = 0.59, p = 0.002) were protective of high risk sex, while homelessness (OR = 1.7, p = 0.005), and being single (OR = 1.83, p = 0.006) were positively associated with high risk sex. African American (AA) women were 1.7 times more likely to report high-risk sex than AA men (p = 0.002), 3.28 times more likely than White men (p < 0.001), and 1.93 times more likely than White women (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Since AA women report high-risk sex behaviors more than other demographic groups, behavioral interventions for HIV risk reduction among PWID may benefit from focusing on sex-risk reduction among AA women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018



  • African american
  • Gender
  • High risk sex
  • Injection drug use
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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