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AIDS Care. 2006 Feb;18(2):158-65.

Risks for HIV infection among users and sellers of crack, powder cocaine and heroin in central Harlem: implications for interventions.

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  • 1National Development and Research Institutes, New York, NY 10010, USA.


This article investigates behaviours that may be associated HIV infection among users and sellers of crack, powder cocaine and heroin in central Harlem. Chain referral sampling and other strategies were combined to acquire a sample of 637 (Users = 546; Sellers = 91) who provided urine specimens that were tested for the presence of drugs and HIV. Nearly a quarter (23.9%) of all respondents were HIV positive. Drug injectors were more than 2.5 times more likely to have HIV infections than other respondents (OR = 2.66; 95% CI 1.66-4.26). Those involved in frauds/cons were almost as likely to be HIV positive (OR = 2.58; 95% CI 1.64-4.06). Those with a marital status of being separated, divorced or widowed were twice as likely to be HIV infected (OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.43-3.25). Respondents currently having multiple partner sex (OR = 1.66; 95% CI 1.1-2.51) or who were female (OR = 1.66; 95% CI 1.12-2.45) were more than 1.5 times more likely to be HIV positive. Thus, controlling for lifetime drug injection and current multiple partner sex, other factors, such as participating in frauds/cons, as well as relationship status and being female, were also associated with HIV infection.

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