206242 Puerto Rican Baby Boomers: Injecting Drug Practices

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

René R. Davila Torres, DBAc PhDc , Maternal and Child Health Program, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Nirzka Labault Cabeza, PhD , Human Development Department - Gerontology Program, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Víctor Emanuel Reyes Ortiz, MS , Environmental Health Department, Puerto Rico School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Objective: To identify the needle exchange practices in a group of Puerto Rican Baby Boomers that are injecting drug users. Method: A cross-sectional exploratory pilot study, with a non-probabilistic sample of 50 individuals (25 females and 25 males) participating in a Needle Exchange Program was conducted. Face to Face interviews were performed in a survey to determine the drug and alcohol usage pattern. Results: 27% of the participants injected with a used syringe last time they injected. 46.7% reported to inject with used syringe “some times” during the last three months. In average the total count of used syringe for the last three months were 3 syringes per person. 66.7% shared needles with a friend. 38.9% shared needles with a friend in the shooting gallery. 41.9% only disinfects the syringe with water and 58.6% reported to somehow disinfect the syringe. 4.0% of the participants reported to had shared, sold, or rented a needle or syringe to other person after using it. Conclusion: The participants' injecting drug practices show high level of needle and paraphernalia exchange and therefore an evident risk behaviors for HIV/AIDS infection.

Learning Objectives:
The participants will be able to identify major risk behaviors in the most important aging population on Puerto Rico and the United States currently using injecting drugs. Harm reduction strategies and other theoretical models will be discussed as possible bases for the establishment of health programs for Baby Boomers IDU’s.

Keywords: Aging, Drug Injectors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm participated as co-investigator in this research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.