Overdoses and HIV infection are common among Russians who inject drugs, yet risk factors have not been studied. We analyzed baseline data of 294 participants with 30-day injection drug use from an HIV secondary prevention trial for persons reporting "heavy" alcohol use (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA] risky drinking definition) and risky sex in the past 6 months. The outcome was any self-reported overdose in the previous 3 months. We examined demographic, HIV-related, criminal justice, mental health, substance use, and injection risk factors. Participants' characteristics included median age 29 years, 117/294 (40%) female, and median CD4 cell count 345/µl. Over three quarters 223/294 (76%) reported a history of overdose and 47/294 (16%) reported overdose in the past 3 months. Past month injection frequency (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 4.77, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.63-14.0 highest vs. lowest quartile; AOR 3.58, 95% CI: 1.20-10.69 second highest vs. lowest quartile) and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) at time of interview (AOR 3.96 95% CI: 1.33-11.83) were associated with 3-month overdose. Nonfatal overdose among HIV-infected Russians who inject drugs is common. Risk factors include injection frequency and anti-retroviral therapy (ART), which warrant further study. Overdose prevention efforts are needed among HIV-infected Russians who inject drugs.
Keywords: HIV; Russia; anti-retroviral therapy; injection drug use; overdose.