Purpose: This study investigated the sexual risk behaviors among injection drug users. (IDUs) in order to inform the development of sexual risk reduction interventions for IDUs.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of IDUs (n=141) was conducted in an in-patient detoxification treatment center in Shanghai, China, to collect information on demographics; drug use history; sexual risk behavior; HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and other psychosocial variables; and HIV, HBV, and HCV seroprevalence. Factors associated with HIV sexual risk behaviors and HBV and/or HCV infection were analyzed.
Results: Sexual risk behaviors among IDUs were common: the majority (77%) of the participants had not used a condon consistently in the previous 3 months, 25.5% had multiple partners, 48.2% had IDU partners, and 75.9% did not know their partner's HIV status. IDUs who were married (OR=4.83, p<0.05) or did not intent to use condoms in the future (OR=0.21, p<0.05) were more likely to have unprotected sex. The prevalence of HBV and HCV infection was 31.9% and 51.8%, respectively, but no one tested positive for HIV.IDUs with an injection history of 3 years or more (OR=5.86, p<0.05) and with an overdose history (OR=3.21, p<0.05) were more likely to be infected with HBV and/or HCV.
Conclusions: Sexual risk behaviors among IDUs in Shanghai are common, and many IDUs are vulnerable for transmission of disease. Prevention efforts with IDUs should address sexual risk behaviors in addition to needle-sharing behaviors.