Prevalence and Correlates of Injecting with Visitors from the United States Among People Who Inject Drugs in Tijuana, Mexico

J Immigr Minor Health. 2019 Dec;21(6):1200-1207. doi: 10.1007/s10903-019-00868-8.


Cross-border infectious disease transmission is a concern related to drug tourism from the U.S. to Mexico. We assessed this risk among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Tijuana, Mexico. We measured the prevalence and identified correlates of injecting with PWID visiting from the U.S. among PWID in Tijuana using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Of 727 participants, 18.5% injected during the past 6 months in Mexico with U.S. PWID described mostly as friends (63%) or acquaintances (26%). Injecting with U.S. PWID was independently associated with higher education [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.13/year], deportation from the U.S. (aOR = 1.70), younger age at first injection (aOR = 0.96/year), more lifetime overdoses (aOR = 1.08), and, in the past 6 months, backloading (aOR = 4.00), syringe confiscation by the police (aOR = 3.02) and paying for sex (aOR = 2.98; all p-values < 0.05). Nearly one-fifth of PWID in Tijuana recently injected with U.S. PWID, and their reported risk behaviors could facilitate cross-border disease transmission.

Keywords: Deportation; Drug tourism; HCV; HIV; Injection drug use.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Needle Sharing / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology*
  • United States / ethnology
  • Young Adult