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Br J Addict. 1990 Sep;85(9):1113-24.

Being positive: drug injectors' experiences of HIV infection.

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Social Paediatric and Obstetric Research Unit, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


There is a growing concern within Britain, Europe and North America that injecting drug users may pose the greatest risk of transmitting HIV infection to the wider heterosexual non-drug injecting population. However, we know very little about the reactions of injecting drug users to the knowledge of being HIV positive and thus are hampered in our attempts at estimating the actual risks such individuals pose to others. This paper is based upon interviews with 26 seropositive injecting drug users and examines their experiences in relation to the following areas: (1) hearing the news; (2) communicating the diagnosis to others; (3) current drug use and sexual behaviour; and (4) perceptions of the future. It is shown that injecting drug users have a wide range of responses in relation to each of these areas and while the implications for their care and counselling are drawn out it is suggested that the fact of this variability undermines any single approach to patient or client management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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