Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 618–629

Homelessness and HIV risk behaviors among injection drug users

  • Stephen Metraux
  • David S. Metzger
  • Dennis P. Culhane


This article uses data from an 8-year study of injection drug users to examine whether homelessness independently influenced the likelihood of engaging in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviors. Fixed effects regression analyses are used to estimate the associations between four different housing contexts and four different behaviours related to transmitting HIV infections. Results showed that 16% of the study group experienced homelessness at some point during the study, and that homelessness was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of frequenting shooting galleries (odds ratio=2.05), but did not have a significant effect on sharing syringes, sharing other injection drug paraphernalia, or participating in paid sex. These results provide limited support for positing homelessness as independently associated with increased levels of HIV-related risk behavior among injection drug users and highlights the need for more research that examines the housing dynamics among this population.


AIDS HIV risk behavior Homelessness Injection drug use 


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Metraux
    • 1
  • David S. Metzger
    • 2
  • Dennis P. Culhane
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Health PolicyUniversity of the Sciences in PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Center for the Studies of AddictionUniversity ofUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkUniversity ofUSA

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