To describe the reported sexual behaviors of opioid-dependent young adults in a Cairo psychiatric hospital, Egypt, and examine the association between drug consumption, sexual behaviors, and family attitudes.
A total of 48 patients with opioid dependency according to DSM-IV-TR were recruited from inpatient psychiatric attendees at a psychiatric hospital, Cairo, Egypt. A face-to-face semistructured interview was conducted to obtain information on detailed clinical history, mental status, drug use history, psycho-sexual history, and family attitudes from patients.
The most frequent age group at the time of presentation of the sample was 15 to 25 years (47.9 %). The mean age of start of drug abuse was 15.8 years (SD=2.6; 11 to 25 y). The entire group was dependent on opioid and 46 (95.5%) were dependent on cannabis at the same time, and 19 (39.6%) were dependent on alcohol. The main opioids abused by the entire group were heroin (8, 16.7%), tramadol (synthetic opioid) (37, 77.1%), and codeine (cough syrup) (14, 29.2%). High rates of risky sexual behaviors were observed, particularly in tramadol users. They reported high rates of sexual activity over the previous 3 months, commercial sex work, large number of casual sex partners, and lifetime hepatitis C.
These findings point to a clear need for interventions aimed at decreasing risky sexual behaviors among individuals with opioid dependency.