229981 Physical victimization and risky sexual partners among drug users in New York City

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Alezandria Turner, PhD , Department of Epidemiology- Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Kandice Jones, MPH , Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Abby Rudolph, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Natalie Crawford, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York City, NY
Crystal Fuller, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Background: Little is known on the impact of physical victimization on the acquisition of risky sexual partners among men and women. Our study utilized a four-year, year-by-year behavioral and social network history collected at baseline to determine if physical victimization predicts high-risk sexual partnerships among injection and non-injection drug users. Methods: Between 2006-2009, 652 heroin/crack/cocaine users, aged 18-40 were recruited through targeted outreach and respondent driven sampling in 36 high drug activity areas in New York City. Respondents reporting no high-risk sex partner four years prior to study entry were included in the analysis (n=240) and assessed yearly to first report of a high-risk sexual partner (i.e., self-reported MSM, heroin injection, crack use, transactional sex, or incarceration history). Physical victimization (i.e., threatened with a knife or gun, beaten up, shot or stabbed), measured yearly, was the primary exposure. GEE was used to account for repeated exposure and outcome measures. Results: The sample was 44% Hispanic, 43% Black, and 85% male. After adjustment, physical victimization significantly predicted ≥ 1 high-risk sexual partnership the following year (AOR=2.6;95%CI=1.3-4.9). This relationship did not differ for men and women. Females (AOR=6.9;95%CI=3.1-15.9) and MSMs (AOR=6.9;95CI%=2.2-21.9) were more likely to report a risky sexual partner. Conclusion: These data suggest that physical victimization may increase the risk of high-risk sexual partnership among drug users. Research is needed among this population to further inform a timely and innovative structural intervention that incorporates the social context of physical violence and subsequent high-risk sexual partnerships to help reduce HIV-related risk.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between physicial victimization and acquisition of risky sexual partners among male and female drug users in New York City. Identify demographic and sexual behaviors that are risk factors for the selection of risky sexual partners among drug users and describe how these factors differ by gender.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been trained in the measurement and evaluation of sexual risk behavior and have experience overseeing research programs that educate substance users on HIV risk reduction methods.
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.