AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1561–1569 | Cite as

High-Risk Behaviors Associated with Injection Drug Use Among Recently HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex with Men in San Diego, CA

  • Angie Ghanem
  • Susan J. Little
  • Lydia Drumright
  • Lin Liu
  • Sheldon Morris
  • Richard S. GarfeinEmail author
Original Paper


The contribution of injection drug use to HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) is understudied. MSM infected with HIV within the prior 12 months completed a questionnaire assessing sociodemographic, sexual, drug use, and social factors. Analyses were performed to identify factors associated with lifetime history of injection drug use. Among 212 participants, the mean age was 33.8 years, 72% were White, 89% had attended college, and 9.4% reported ever injecting drugs. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, ever trading sex and using methamphetamine during sex with at least one of their last three partners were associated with injection drug use. Adjusting for these variables, in separate models, ever perpetrating violence against others (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 3.16), having physically abusive sexual partners (AOR = 3.08), or physically abusing sexual partners (AOR = 10.17) were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with injection drug use. These findings suggest that violence is more common among MSM who inject drugs, which should be considered in HIV prevention efforts.


MSM Injection drug use Violence HIV-risk Sexual behavior 


La contribución del uso de drogas inyectables al riesgo de contraer el VIH en los hombres que tienen relaciones sexuales con hombres (HSH) no ha sido investigada lo suficiente. HSH infectados con el VIH en los 12 meses anteriores contestaron un cuestionario que medía factores sociodemográficos, sexuales, de uso de drogas y sociales. Se realizaron análisis para identificar los factores relacionados con el historial de uso de drogas inyectables. Entre los 212 participantes, la edad promedio fue de 33.8 años, el 72% era caucásico, el 89% había asistido a la universidad y el 9.4% reportó haberse inyectado drogas alguna vez. En un análisis multivariado de regresión logística, estuvieron relacionados con el uso de drogas inyectables el haber intercambiado sexo alguna vez y el haber usado metanfetaminas durante el coito con al menos 1 de sus tres últimas parejas. Ajustando estas variables, en modelos por separado, estuvieron significativamente (P < 0.05) relacionados con el uso de drogas inyectables el haber perpetrado violencia contra los demás (“Adjusted Odds Ratio” [AOR] = 3.16), el tener parejas sexuales físicamente abusivas (AOR = 3.08) o el físicamente maltratar a las parejas sexuales (AOR = 10.17). Estos hallazgos sugieren que la violencia es más común entre los HSH quienes se inyectan drogas, lo cual debe tomarse en cuenta en los esfuerzos para la prevención del VIH.



The authors would like to acknowledge and thank Tari Gilbert, Paula Potter, Joanne Santangelo, and the University of California, San Diego Antiviral Research Center staff for their support in data collection. Most of all we would like to thank our participants for volunteering for this study. This work was supported by UCSD Center for AIDS Research (AI36214), AI43638, AI074621 from the National Institutes of Health, and RN07-SD-702 from the California HIV Research Program (CHRP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angie Ghanem
    • 1
  • Susan J. Little
    • 2
  • Lydia Drumright
    • 3
  • Lin Liu
    • 4
  • Sheldon Morris
    • 2
  • Richard S. Garfein
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate School of Public HealthSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Centre for Infection Prevention and Management, Department of MedicineImperial College of LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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