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AIDS Behav. 2011 Nov;15(8):1834-43. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-9991-1.

Psychiatric, behavioural and social risk factors for HIV infection among female drug users.

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  • 1Substance Use Disorders Research Group, IMIM-Hospital del Mar, Parc de Salut Mar de Barcelona, Spain.


Female drug users report greater psychopathology and risk behaviours than male drug users, putting them at greater risk for HIV. This mixed-methods study determined psychiatric, behavioural and social risk factors for HIV among 118 female drug users (27% (32/118) were HIV seropositive) in Barcelona. DSM-IV disorders were assessed using the Spanish Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders. 30 participants were interviewed in-depth. In stepwise multiple backward logistic regression, ever injected with a used syringe, antisocial personality disorder, had an HIV seropositive sexual partner and substance-induced major depressive disorder were associated with HIV seropositivity. Qualitative findings illustrate the complex ways in which psychiatric disorders and male drug-using partners interact with these risk factors. Interventions should address all aspects of female drug users' lives to reduce HIV.

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