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Battjes Robert J.; Pickens, Roy W.; Amsel, Zili
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: December 1989
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To explore the introduction of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection into intravenous drug abusing populations, risk behaviors of 1,154 intravenous drug abusers (IVDAs) in four U.S. cities with low prevalence of IVDA/HIV infection (0.9–13.0%) were examined. Seropositive subjects (N = 54) were compared with demographically matched seronegative controls regarding drug use practices, homosexual contact, blood transfusions, risk behaviors while traveling or living in high prevalence areas, and acquaintance with persons with AIDS. With the exception of needle sharing with homosexual/bisexual males, no differences in risk behaviors were found between seropositive subjects and matched seronegatives. Seropositives were substantially more likely than matched seronegatives to report having shared a needle with a homosexual or bisexual male, suggesting that needle sharing between homosexual/bisexual IVDAs and heterosexual IVDAs may be an important means by which HIV is introduced among heterosexual IVDAs in low prevalence areas.

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