Factors associated with heroin users' AIDS risk-taking behaviours

Aust J Public Health. 1993 Mar;17(1):13-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.1993.tb00097.x.


A survey was undertaken in Sydney in 1989 to identify factors associated with behaviour involving risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection. Self-report data on needle-sharing and sexual practices were collected from 91 heroin users entering a residential, drug-free detoxification unit. Data were analysed using polytomous and ordinal logistic regressions. Heroin-dependent subjects who also had a current alcohol problem were significantly more likely than others to report high risk needle-sharing behaviour. Subjects with more than one sexual partner in the last three months were significantly more likely to use condoms while those with a current benzodiazepine problem were significantly less likely to use condoms. Qualitative data suggest that high risk needle-sharing behaviour most often occurred around the time of relapse to injecting drug use and among homeless drug users occupying derelict buildings in inner-city suburbs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission*
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Female
  • Heroin*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needle Sharing
  • New South Wales
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Heroin