Gender differences in high risk sexual behaviors and injection practices associated with perceived HIV risk among injection drug users

Mary M. Mitchell, William W. Latimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study compared male and female injection drug users (IDUs) on perceived risk of contracting HIV and examined the associations between risk perceptions and sharing injection drugs or equipment, engaging in casual sex, and engaging in commercial sex. We used baseline data from 271 IDUs recruited between 2000 and 2005 from the Baltimore, Maryland site of the International Neurobehavioral HIV Study. We found that although there was no significant difference in levels of perceived risk between males and females, males reported significantly more casual sex, whereas females reported more commercial sex. Logistic regression analyses with the entire sample indicated that sharing of injection drugs or equipment was consistently associated with greater perceived risk. We also found a significant interaction between gender and having had casual sex, such that females who had engaged in casual sex were significantly more likely to perceive that they were at greater risk for contracting HIV. Our results suggest that male IDUs should be targeted for HIV risk-reduction programs focusing on casual and commercial sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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