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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Targeting HIV Prevention on African American Crack and Injection Drug Users
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The use of drugs in the African American community, particularly crack cocaine, has been linked to sexual risk-taking behavior, which increases the likelihood that persons will become infected with Human Immuno Virus. In order to more fully understand risk-taking behavior and to target interventions among African American men and women, this study used data collected from 1277 individuals residing in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, who were recruited into National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Cooperative Agreement Project from 1993 to 1998. The study compared African Americans treated for Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) (n = 292) with African Americans who reported never being treated for a STD (n = 504) with regard to HIV information, awareness, and the number of HIV tests between those with and without STD exposure. Additionally, we examine gender differences among African Americans who have and have not been exposed to STDs on risk behaviors and HIV knowledge, awareness, and testing. It was hypothesized that African American drug users in the STD group would engage in more risk behaviors than those who reported no STDs. Results indicated that individuals in both groups, the STD exposure group and the no STD group, engaged in similar HIV-risky behaviors. However, the STD group used a greater number of different drugs in their lifetime. The STD group reported they were more likely to get HIV and were more frequently tested for HIV. Females with an STD history were more likely to have been in drug user treatment and to perceive themselves as homeless. Both males and females in the STD group were more likely to report involvement in exchanging sex. (Authors)
Substance Use & Misuse