Objectives: To examine gender differences in various injection-related behaviors among a sample of injection drug users IDUs in Anchorage, Alaska. Methods: A sample of 487 men and 151 women IDUs was administered a set of questionnaires assessing various injection-related behaviors, including the following: (a) frequency of injecting, (b) needle/syringe (NS) sharing at most recent injection, (c) number of IDUs present when respondent last shared NS, (d) frequency of occasions injected by another, and (e) frequency of sterile NS purchase. Gender differences were tested using chi-square tests for categorical variables and t tests for continuous variables. Findings: Compared to men, women: (a) injected more frequently in the last 30 days (M=32.41 vs. M=22.32, t(636)=2.33, p<.05), (b) were marginally more likely have used a previously used NS at their most recent injection (31% vs 24%, chi-square(1, n=638)=3.43, p=.06), (c) reported more injectors being present when they last used a previously used NS (M=2.21 vs. M=1.64, t(147)=2.89, p<.01), (d) were less likely to inject themselves (63% vs. 74%, chi-square(1,n=636)=7.59, p<.01), and (e) purchased fewer new NS in the last 6 months (M=2.27 vs. M=7.05, t(68.6)=2.69, p<.01). Conclusions: Women IDUs in Anchorage, Alaska engage in several injection-related behaviors that put them at increased risk of HIV and other blood borne disease infection compared to their male counterparts. More research is needed to shed light on the mechanisms behind these gender differences, and eventually inform the development of more effective interventions.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to identify gender differences in injection behavior that are associated with increased risk of blood borne pathogen transmission
Keywords: Injection Drug Users, Women
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA