Drug use and HIV risk-taking behaviour among injecting drug users not currently in treatment in Sydney, Australia

Amanda Baker*, Nicky Kochan, Julie Dixon, Alex Wodak, Nick Heather

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the drug use patterns and HIV risk-taking behaviour of 200 injecting drug users (IDU) not currently in treatment in Sydney, Australia. Although there was low HIV seroprevalence, unsafe injecting and sexual practices were common. Variables that were predictive of injecting risk-taking were higher level of heroin use, sexual relationship with an IDU and greater polydrug use. Two variables were predictive of sexual risk-taking: higher level of hallucinogen use and sexual relationship with an IDU. Female subjects were significantly more likely to have an IDU sexual partner. A higher level of cannabis use was associated with greater polydrug use and a higher level of amphetamine use was associated with greater use of opiates other than heroin. The findings are discussed in terms of the need for interventions aimed towards reducing sexual risk-taking among users of hallucinogens and towards reducing injecting and sexual risk-taking among IDU and their sexual partners. The potential difficulty in producing behaviour change among polydrug users is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Drug use
  • Hallucinogens
  • HIV risk-taking
  • IDU not-in-treatment

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