Original Paper

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1906-1913

First online:

Determinants of Risky Sexual Behavior Among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) in Georgia

  • Ivdity ChikovaniAffiliated withCuratio International Foundation Email author 
  • , Ketevan GoguadzeAffiliated withCuratio International Foundation
  • , Ivana BozicevicAffiliated withWHO Collaborating Centre for Capacity Development in HIV Surveillance, School of Medicine
  • , Natia RukhadzeAffiliated withCuratio International Foundation
  • , George GotsadzeAffiliated withCuratio International Foundation

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Injection risk practices and risky sexual behaviors place injection drug users (IDUs) and their sexual partners particularly vulnerable to HIV. The purpose of the study was to describe and understand determinants of high-risk sexual behavior among IDUs in Georgia. A cross-sectional, anonymous survey assessed knowledge, behavior and HIV status in IDUs in five Georgian cities (Tbilisi, Gori, Telavi, Zugdidi, Batumi) in 2009. The study enrolled in total 1,127 (1,112 males, 15 females) IDUs. Results indicate that occasional sexual relationships are common among male IDUs, including married ones. A subsample of 661 male IDUs who reported having occasional and paid sex partners during the last 12 months was analyzed. Multivariate analysis shows that not having a regular partner in the last 12 month (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.57, 95 % CI 1.04 2.37), and using previously used needles/syringes at last injecting (aOR 2.37, 95 % I 1.10–5.11) are independent correlates of inconsistent condom use with occasional and paid sexual partners among IDUs. Buprenorphine injectors have lower odds of inconsistent condom use with occasional and paid sexual partners compared to heroin injectors (aOR 0.47, 95 % CI 0.27–0.80), and IDUs who live in Telavi are twice more likely to engage in such risky sexual behavior than capital city residents (aOR 2.55, 95 % CI 1.46–4.48). More effective programs focused on sexual risk behavior reduction strategies should be designed and implemented.


Injection drug users Sexual behavior HIV Respondent driven sampling Georgia