The relationship between drug use stigma and HIV injection risk behaviors among injection drug users in Chennai, India

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Aug 1;110(3):221-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 May 13.


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived drug use stigma, acquiescence response bias, and HIV injection risk behaviors among current injection drug users in Chennai, India.

Methods: The sample consists of 851 males in Chennai, India who reported having injected drugs in the last month and were recruited through street outreach.

Results: Results indicate a strong and consistent positive association between drug use stigma and HIV injection drug use risk behaviors. This association held across the injection behaviors of frequency of sharing needles, cookers, cotton filters, rinse water, pre-filled syringes and common drug solutions, even after controlling for acquiescence response bias, frequency of injection, and HIV/HCV serostatus.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that future HIV prevention and harm reduction programs for injection drug users and service providers should address drug use stigma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Behavior
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV-1*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / psychology
  • Humans
  • India
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Needle Sharing
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology