AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 2501–2509 | Cite as

Dual HIV Risk: Receptive Syringe Sharing and Unprotected Sex Among HIV-Negative Injection Drug Users in New York City

  • Alan Neaigus
  • Kathleen H. Reilly
  • Samuel M. Jenness
  • Holly Hagan
  • Travis Wendel
  • Camila Gelpi-Acosta
Original Paper


HIV-negative injection drug users (IDUs) who engage in both receptive syringe sharing and unprotected sex (“dual HIV risk”) are at high risk of HIV infection. In a cross-sectional study conducted in New York City in 2009, active IDUs aged ≥18 years were recruited using respondent-driven sampling, interviewed, and tested for HIV. Participants who tested HIV-negative and did not self-report as positive were analyzed (N = 439). Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) were estimated using multinomial logistic regression. The sample was: 77.7 % male; 54.4 % Hispanic, 36.9 % white, and 8.7 % African-American/black. Dual risk was engaged in by 26.2 %, receptive syringe sharing only by 3.2 %, unprotected sex only by 49.4 %, and neither by 21.2 %. Variables independently associated with engaging in dual risk versus neither included Hispanic ethnicity (vs. white) (aOR = 2.0, 95 % CI = 1.0–4.0), married or cohabiting (aOR = 6.3, 95 % CI = 2.5–15.9), homelessness (aOR = 3.4, 95 % CI = 1.6–7.1), ≥2 sex partners (aOR = 8.7, 95 % CI = 4.4–17.3), ≥2 injecting partners (aOR = 2.9, 95 % CI = 1.5–5.8), and using only sterile syringe sources (protective) (aOR = 0.5, 95 % CI = 0.2–0.9). A majority of IDUs engaged in HIV risk behaviors, and a quarter in dual risk. Interventions among IDUs should simultaneously promote the consistent use of sterile syringes and of condoms.


HIV Injection drug users IDU Syringe sharing Unprotected sex New York City 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Neaigus
    • 1
  • Kathleen H. Reilly
    • 1
  • Samuel M. Jenness
    • 2
  • Holly Hagan
    • 3
  • Travis Wendel
    • 4
  • Camila Gelpi-Acosta
    • 5
  1. 1.HIV/AIDS Epidemiology and Field Services Program, New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneGotham CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of AnthropologyJohn Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.The New School for Social ResearchNew YorkUSA

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