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Alcohol as a risk factor for HIV transmission among American Indian and Alaska Native drug users.

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  • 1Department of Health, Physical Education, Exercise Science and Nutrition, NAU P.O. Box 15095, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. Julie.Baldwin@nau.edu


Quantitative alcohol interviews conducted as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Native American Supplement revealed very high rates of alcohol use among American Indian and Alaska Native active crack and injection drug users (IDUs). Of 147 respondents who completed the alcohol questionnaire, 100& percent had drunk alcohol within the past month, almost 42& percent reported that they drank every day, and 50& percent drank until they were drunk one-half of the time or more. Injection drug users (IDUs) demonstrated the highest frequency and quantity of alcohol use in the past 30 days. A significant positive association was also found between crack and alcohol use in the past 48 hours (c(2)=5.30, p<.05). Finally, those claiming more episodes of using alcohol before or during sex, reported significantly more events of unprotected sexual intercourse. Qualitative data from all four sites corroborated these quantitative findings. Many individuals also reported episodes of blacking out while drinking, and learned later that they had had unprotected sex with complete strangers or individuals they would not otherwise accept as partners. Implications of these findings for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts are addressed.

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