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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003 May 21;70(2):169-75.

A tripartite of HIV-risk for African American women: the intersection of drug use, violence, and depression.

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Department of Social Work, University of Missouri - St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge Road, 590 Lucas Hall, 63121-4499, USA.


The intersection of drug use, violence, and depression with HIV-risk among African American women is an under explored area of research. The current analyses examine whether particular sexual risk behaviors are associated with exposure to violence, depression or both among 420 African American out-of-treatment female drug users. Women were stratified into four mutually exclusive groups: drug users with exposure to violence (n=64), drug users with clinical depression (n=62), drug users with both (n=41), and drug users only (n=253). Multinomial logistic regression analyses examined the association of demographics and sexual risk behaviors across the tripartite groups. Women with a history of sexually transmitted diseases were more likely to experience violence and depression both alone and jointly. Women who had two or more sexual partners in the last 30 days (OR=2.26) and women who had an early onset of alcohol use (OR=2.50) were at an increased risk for having the full tripartite of drug use, violence and depression. Never being married was a protective factor for the full tripartite. As expected, more risk factors were found among women who had the full tripartite than among women with one or two of the factors. The co-existence of the tripartite factors and sexual risk behaviors may indicate a need to ultimately provide more specialized prevention and intervention efforts to combat HIV infection. This area of research may improve our understanding of the numerous obstacles to HIV intervention among drug-using populations.

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