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Subst Use Misuse. 2009;44(2):139-62. doi: 10.1080/10826080802344823.

The relationship between housing status and HIV risk among active drug users: a qualitative analysis.

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Institute for Community Research, Hartford, Connecticut, USA.


This paper examines the relationship between housing status and HIV risk using longitudinal, qualitative data collected in 2004-2005, from a purposeful sample of 65 active drug users in a variety of housed and homeless situations in Hartford, Connecticut. These data were supplemented with observations and in-depth interviews regarding drug use behavior collected in 2001-2005 to evaluate a peer-led HIV prevention intervention. Data reveal differences in social context within and among different housing statuses that affect HIV risk or protective behaviors including the ability to carry drug paraphernalia and HIV prevention materials, the amount of drugs in the immediate environment, access to subsidized and supportive housing, and relationships with those with whom drug users live. Policy implications of the findings, limitations to the data, and future research are discussed.

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