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AIDS Behav. 2011 Nov;15(8):1834-43. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-9991-1.

Psychiatric, behavioural and social risk factors for HIV infection among female drug users.

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  • 1Substance Use Disorders Research Group, IMIM-Hospital del Mar, Parc de Salut Mar de Barcelona, Spain. G.Gilchrist@greenwich.ac.uk


Female drug users report greater psychopathology and risk behaviours than male drug users, putting them at greater risk for HIV. This mixed-methods study determined psychiatric, behavioural and social risk factors for HIV among 118 female drug users (27% (32/118) were HIV seropositive) in Barcelona. DSM-IV disorders were assessed using the Spanish Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders. 30 participants were interviewed in-depth. In stepwise multiple backward logistic regression, ever injected with a used syringe, antisocial personality disorder, had an HIV seropositive sexual partner and substance-induced major depressive disorder were associated with HIV seropositivity. Qualitative findings illustrate the complex ways in which psychiatric disorders and male drug-using partners interact with these risk factors. Interventions should address all aspects of female drug users' lives to reduce HIV.

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