AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 311–323 | Cite as

Sexual and Physical Victimization as Predictors of HIV Risk Among Felony Drug Offenders

  • Steven Belenko
  • Jeffrey Lin
  • Lisa O’Connor
  • Hung-En Sung
  • Kevin G. Lynch
Interpersonal Violence and Aids

Injection and other drug use and high-risk sexual behaviors put criminal offenders at increased risk for HIV infection. Studies in other populations, especially females, have found that a history of sexual or physical victimization increases engagement in HIV-risk behaviors, and drug-involved offenders have high rates of such prior victimization. However, there has been little research among male offenders. In a sample of 247 male felony drug offenders in New York City, prior sexual victimization was related to a higher number of sex partners and lower proportion of protected sex acts in the 30 days before arrest. Prior physical abuse was related to cocaine injection, but not heroin injection or high-risk sex behaviors. These results suggest a complex relationship between sexual and physical abuse and HIV risk among male offenders. Assessing for specific prior abuse histories of offenders and providing targeted interventions may be useful for developing more effective primary and secondary HIV prevention services for this high-risk population.

KEY WORDS:

Physical and sexual abuse drug offenders criminal justice population HIV-risk behaviors. 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Belenko
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jeffrey Lin
    • 2
  • Lisa O’Connor
    • 3
  • Hung-En Sung
    • 3
  • Kevin G. Lynch
    • 4
  1. 1.Treatment Research InstituteUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Vera Institute of JusticeNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.The National Center on Addiction and Substance AbuseColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry, Treatment Research InstituteUniversity of Pennsylvania, University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Treatment Research InstituteUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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