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Addict Behav. 2006 Sep;31(9):1607-18. Epub 2006 Feb 3.

Needle-sharing among young IV drug users and their social network members: The influence of the injection partner's characteristics on HIV risk behavior.

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1
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, USA. unger@usc.edu

Abstract

Injection drug use is a risk factor for HIV among adolescents and young adults, yet the interpersonal dynamics of needle-sharing among young injectors remain poorly understood. Research has focused on identifying the characteristics of individual IV drug users (IVDUs) that increase their risk of needle-sharing. Most studies have not taken into consideration IVDUs' decisions to share needles with certain partners but not with other partners. This study examined partner characteristics associated with needle-sharing among 96 male and 77 female young adult IV drug users who had shared needles previously. Men were most likely to share needles with partners who gave them emotional support, partners who they injected or who injected them, and partners with whom they had had sex. Women were most likely to share needles with partners who they injected or who injected them, partners with whom they had discussed HIV risk, and partners with whom they had had sex. Results indicate that needle-sharing occurs within the context of mutual injection rituals and close emotional and sexual relationships. Public health interventions are needed to help young IVDUs to avoid needle-sharing with intimate partners.

PMID:
16459023
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.12.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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