Sexual Risks among Southern Thai Drug Injectors

Pajongsil Perngmark, David D. Celentano, Surinda Kawichai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual risks for HIV transmission among injection drug users (IDUs) in Thailand are not well characterized. We surveyed 272 male IDUs about their background, sexual behaviors, and drug use at drug treatment clinics in southern Thailand. HIV seroprevalence was determined using enzyme immunoassay. Fifty-six percent of participants were sexually active, of whom 88% had sex mostly with a noninjecting regular partner (wife or steady girlfriend), reporting low rates (34%) of condom use. Among sexually active IDUs, 43% were HIV infected and only a few were aware of their HIV serostatus. Condom use was associated with history of HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and poor perceived health status in multivariate analysis. Unprotected sex with regular sexual partners is frequent among IDUs in southern Thailand, where most IDUs have not sought VCT services. AIDS prevention efforts should address access to VCT and condom promotion to sexually active couples to prevent sexual transmission of HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Condom use
  • HIV transmission
  • HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT)
  • IDU
  • Sexual behavior
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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