AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 171-176

First online:

HIV Serostatus and Changes in Risk Behaviors Among Drug Injectors and Crack Users

  • Sherry DerenAffiliated withNational Development and Research Institutes
  • , Mark BeardsleyAffiliated withNational Development and Research Institutes
  • , Stephanie TortuAffiliated withNational Development and Research Institutes
  • , Marjorie F. GoldsteinAffiliated withNational Development and Research Institutes

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Interventions targeting high-risk drug users have found reductions in HIV risk behaviors over time. It is important to determine whether these changes occur among both HIV+ and HIV− drug users. A total of 225 drug injectors (31% HIV+) and 316 crack users (15% HIV+) were administered a baseline interview, received HIV testing, received test results, and participated in a 6-month follow-up interview. Both HIV+ and HIV− subjects significantly reduced risk behaviors over time, with greater reduction in some behaviors (e.g., percent of injectors sharing drug injection paraphernalia, p < .05) by HIV+ subjects. This finding supports the utility of HIV testing for high-risk drug users. Further research is needed to enhance understanding of risk behaviors and risk reduction among seropositives.

HIV serostatus risk behaviors drug injectors crack smokers