Drug users are an especially complex population among those studied in HIV risk behavior research. Although injection drug use accounts for over one third of the cumulative HIV transmission in the United States, the scope of the direct and indirect impacts of all drug use is difficult to quantify, especially in relation to attributing HIV to drug use directly, via parenteral exposures, or indirectly, through unsafe sex. Important behavioral issues such as social and drug network overlaps, partner selection, and the combinations of illicit drugs with erectile dysfunction medications have added complexity to the study of sexual behavior in drug users. This review covers recent substantive research in the United States and Canada on current themes in sexual risk behavior in injection drug and non-injection drug users. We address gender, situational, and sexual preference factors that may influence sexual behaviors affecting HIV risk by class of drug and route of administration. Special attention is paid to minority populations, both sexual and racial/ethnic, as their marginalized role in contemporary society places special barriers to risk reduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases