Drug network characteristics and HIV risk among injection drug users in Russia: the roles of trust, size, and stability

AIDS Behav. 2011 Jul;15(5):1003-10. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9816-7.


We investigated the influence of drug network characteristics including trust, size, and stability on HIV risk behaviors and HIV testing among injection drug users (IDUs) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Overall, male and female IDUs who reported having high levels of trust in their drug networks were significantly more likely to share syringes than those with lower levels of trust (OR [95% CI]) 2.87 [1.06, 7.81] and 4.89 [1.05, 21.94], respectively). Male and female IDUs in larger drug networks were more likely to share syringes than those in smaller networks (4.21 [1.54, 11.51] and 4.80 [1.20, 19.94], respectively). Characteristics that were significantly associated with not having been HIV tested included drug network instability among men and larger network size among women. High trust, large size, and instability were positively and significantly associated with syringe sharing and not having been HIV tested. Effectiveness of interventions in Russia to reduce the risk of HIV infection may be enhanced if network characteristics are addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Users / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needle Sharing / adverse effects
  • Needle Sharing / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Russia
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trust*
  • Young Adult