Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318186dee3

Needle Exchange and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among a Cohort of Injection Drug Users in Chicago, Illinois

Huo, Dezheng PhD*; Ouellet, Lawrence J. PhD†

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Objective: To examine the impact of a needle exchange program (NEP) on sexual risk behaviors of injecting drug users (IDUs).

Methods: Between 1997 and 2000, 889 IDUs in Chicago were recruited from NEPs and an area with no NEP into a cohort study. They were interviewed and tested for HIV at baseline and 3 annual follow-up visits. Random-effect logistic models were used to compare NEP users and nonusers regarding the number of sex partners, number of unprotected sex acts, and frequency of condom use.

Results: Compared to NEP nonusers, NEP users had a similar number of sex partners over time, but had 49% higher odds of using condoms with their main partners (P = 0.047). At baseline, there was no difference between NEP users and nonusers in episodes of vaginal intercourse, but over time the odds of having a higher number of unprotected instances of vaginal intercourse were reduced by 26% per year for NEP users but only 10% per year for nonusers (P = 0.02).

Conclusion: This study suggests that NEP participation may help reduce the absolute risk of HIV sexual transmission.

© Copyright 2009 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association


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