INTRODUCTION: Injecting with others can both increase risk for transmission of HIV and other blood-borne infections (by sharing drugs, syringes, and/or auxiliary paraphernalia), and reduce the dangers of fatal drug overdose. We examine predictors of injecting with others among NYC injection drug users. METHODS: 3,033 IDUs (40% African-American, 38% Latino/a, 23% women, mean 101 injections/month) were recruited 1990-94 from detoxification ward and research storefront settings for the NYC component of the WHO Multi-City Study (NIDA03574). A structured questionnaire asked about drugs, settings, and companions at most recent injection, and about living arrangements. Bivariate significance tests preceded multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: 1,529 (51%) had injected with one or more others. Controlling for prior HIV testing, homelessness, and years since first injection, significant (p<.01) predictors of injecting with others included being White (OR=0.64; 95% CI=0.52-0.79) or Latino/a (OR=0.55; CI=0.46-0.66) being a woman (OR=1.41; CI=1.16-1.72) injecting 29-90 (OR=0.63; CI=0.52-0.88) or 91+ (OR=0.76; CI=0.63-0.92) times/month; injecting cocaine (OR=1.53; CI=1.31-1.79), and living with an IDU partner (OR=3.23; CI=2.42-4.33) or IDU roommate (OR=2.42; CI=1.68-3.47). In contrast, those living with non-IDU partners were significantly (p<.01) less likely (OR=0.68; CI=0.53-0.88) to inject with others than were those living alone. CONCLUSIONS: Injecting with others is more common among women, higher-frequency injectors, cocaine injectors, and those in regular close contact with other IDUs. These patterns point to the inability of many IDUs to inject alone as deliberate risk-reduction strategy, but also to the potentially useful role of other IDUs in overdose prevention and treatment.
Learning Objectives: Recognize 3 major ways injecting with others can contribute to risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases; explain how injecting with others can decrease the risk of fatal drug overdose; describe mechanisms by which close relationships to other IDUs influence injecting with others
Keywords: Drug Injectors, Injecting Drug Use
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