Sexually transmitted infections and sexual practices among injecting drug users in harm reduction centers in Catalonia

Eur Addict Res. 2011;17(5):271-8. doi: 10.1159/000329931. Epub 2011 Jul 27.


Background: The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and sexual risk practices, and to identify factors associated with infection by C. trachomatis/N. gonorrhoeae.

Methods: Injecting drug users were interviewed at harm reduction centers and biological samples were collected to estimate the prevalence of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae.

Results: The prevalence of C. trachomatis was 2.3%, and this was higher among immigrants (3.6%); the prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae was 0.7% (no differences between Spanish-born and immigrants). Respondents aged ≤25 years had a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (OR 3.39), as did women (OR 3.08). Also associated with having an STI were not having registered employment (OR 4.70), injecting drugs daily (OR 4.21), and having unprotected sex with a stable partner (OR 3.37).

Conclusion: Although the prevalence of STIs observed is low, scant condom use makes it necessary for prevention programs to include messages related to sexual risk practices, especially among young people and women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chlamydia Infections / complications
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / psychology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / transmission
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / complications
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Gonorrhea / psychology*
  • Gonorrhea / transmission
  • Harm Reduction
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Spain
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology*
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology*