The relationship between social network characteristics and exchanging sex for drugs or money among drug users in Baltimore, MD, USA

C. A. Latkin, W. Hua, V. L. Forman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study examined social network and drug use factors associated with buying and selling sex among a sample of opiate and cocaine users in Baltimore, Maryland. A sample of 702 drug users who were sexually active were administered a social network and risk behaviour inventory. Compared to 25% of men, only 1.7% of women reported a history of giving money or drugs to get sex during the past 90 days. Conversely, more women (21.2%) than men (4.7%) sold sex for money or drugs. Those who sold sex were more likely to be low frequency crack smokers, were more likely to drink alcohol at least once a day, had a higher average number of crack-only smokers in their network, and had a smaller number of kin in their network. Men who exchanged money or drugs for sex tended to be low frequency crack smokers and reported having more crack-only smokers and injectors and fewer kin in their networks. The results suggest that network composition may be a risk factor for exchanging sex, particularly with respect to crack users, while kin may be a protective factor. These associations may be either a cause or consequence of exchanging sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-775
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Crack cocaine
  • Exchanging sex
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Injection drug users
  • Sexual behaviours
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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