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J Urban Health. 2004 Dec;81(4):618-29.

Homelessness and HIV risk behaviors among injection drug users.

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Graduate Program in Health Policy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, 600 South 43rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495, USA.


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 behaviors 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.

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