Crack users, sexual behavior and risk of HIV infection

Braz J Psychiatry. 2007 Mar;29(1):26-30.


Objective: To compare a sample of injecting cocaine users and crack users, assessing sexual behavior, risk for infection by HIV and its seroprevalence.

Method: 109 injecting cocaine users and 132 crack users were assessed, using the World Health Organization questionnaire from the expanded "Cross-Site Study of Behaviors and HIV Seroprevalence among Injecting Drug Users" and HIV serology. Data were assessed by Multiple Correspondences Analysis.

Results: Crack users showed less time of drug consumption when compared to the injecting cocaine users. Despite this fact, they had higher rates of risky sexual activity, differences in poli-consumption of drugs, and higher rates of involvement in illegal issues. HIV seroprevalence among crack users, although lower than for injecting cocaine users (7% vs. 33%) is high when compared to the general population at the same age.

Conclusions: Sexual behavior of crack users in the studied sample may be considered a risk factor for HIV infection. Crack users have access to information on HIV/ AIDS, but do not make use of it to change risk behaviors that may expose them to HIV infection and dissemination. HIV seroprevalence among crack users (7%) is concerning, which makes it necessary to create preventive strategies for HIV infection and dissemination that are specifically directed toward this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Crack Cocaine*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Seroprevalence*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Crack Cocaine