Objectives. We evaluated the effects of an individual intervention versus a network intervention on HIV-related injection and sexual risk behaviors among street-recruited opiate injection drug users in 5 Ukraine cities. Methods. Between 2004 and 2006, 722 opiate injection drug users were recruited to participate in interventions that were either individually based or based on a social network model in which peer educators intervened with their network members. Audio computer-assisted self-interview techniques were used to interview participants at baseline and follow-up. Results. Multiple logistic analyses controlling for baseline injection and sexual risks revealed that both peer educators and network members in the network intervention reduced injection-related risk behaviors significantly more than did those in the individually based intervention and that peer educators increased condom use significantly more than did those in the individual intervention. Individual intervention participants, however, showed significantly greater improvements than did network members with respect to reductions in sexual risk behaviors. Conclusions. Social network interventions may be more effective than individually based interventions in changing injection risk behaviors among both peer educators and network members. The effectiveness of network interventions in changing sexual risk behaviors is less clear, probably owing to network composition and inhibitions regarding discussing sexual risk behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health