Summary: This study assessed trends in HIV seroprevalence and needle-sharing behaviors among Puerto Rican injection drug users (IDUs) in Puerto Rico and New York. Data from two studies of IDUs conducted from 1992 through 1995 and 1998 through 1999 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and East Harlem, New York, were examined to assess trends over this period. Separate analyses were conducted for IDUs who were current crack smokers. Significant decreasing trends in seroprevalence were found among IDUs in the New York and Puerto Rico samples (p < .001). Significant decreasing trends in receptive and distributive needle sharing were found in the New York sample, and a significant decline in receptive sharing was found in the Puerto Rico sample. Overall, higher levels of needle-sharing behaviors were reported in Puerto Rico compared with New York. Decreasing trends in needle sharing and seroprevalence in both communities are an encouraging finding. Ongoing epidemiologic studies to monitor the epidemic and continued prevention efforts to help maintain or further these declines are needed, particularly to address the higher rates of needle sharing in Puerto Rico.
(C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.