Drug use discrimination predicts formation of high-risk social ties
Individuals (n=502) who used non-injection crack, heroin and/or cocaine were followed over six months. Log-binomial regression models were used to determine the temporal relationship between discrimination and changes in the absolute and proportional number of sex, drug and injecting social ties.
Drug use discrimination, independent of individual risk behaviors significantly predicted an increase in the absolute number of sexual relationships, (Adjusted incidence rate ratio (AIRR:1.92; 95% confidence interval(95%CI):1.08-3.39), drug use relationships (AIRR:2.09; 95%CI:1.17-3.72) and injecting relationships (AIRR:3.29; 95%CI:1.09-9.89) over time. There was no relationship between discrimination and proportion of high-risk relationships.
Social networks, particularly those among drug users, are dynamic and while proportional network risk is important, it does not account for the flow of individuals moving in-and-out of the network. Absolute changes, however, provide information about new relationships thereby creating new opportunities for exposure to HIV. Future social network studies and behavioral interventions should consider how social marginalization isolates persons who use drugs and potentially influences formation of high-risk social ties. Interventions to increase social support may counteract the development of high-risk relationships and reduce HIV transmission.
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the relationship between social experiences of discrimination with high-risk relationships among heavy drug users to understand HIV transmission.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Drug Abuse
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: n/a
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Crawford is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Georgia State University School of public health. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia Universityâs Mailman School of Public Health in 2011 and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar. Her broad research interests are examining the social processes that create and perpetuate racial and ethnic health disparities.
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.