This article reviews trends in self-reported HIV risk behaviors across serial samples of injection drug-using (IDU) arrestees interviewed in Los Angeles. Between 1987 and 1995, a gradual decrease occurred in the percentage who share needles. However, measured over a past-year recall period, the prevalence of needle sharing remained high until 1994 to 1995, when it abruptly declined. Needle sharing with strangers and needle sharing at shooting galleries declined gradually throughout the study period. Among IDUs who shared needles, bleach use increased rapidly until 1991 but leveled off thereafter. No change occurred in number of sex partners, but condom use gradually increased among IDUs with 2 or more partners. Concurrent change in local needle exchange policy and practice may explain the abrupt decline in past-year needle sharing. New strategies may be needed to promote further increases in bleach use and condom use.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Douglas Longshore, UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center, 1100 Glendon Avenue, Suite 763, Los Angeles, CA 90024-3511, U.S.A.
Manuscript received August 15, 1997; accepted January 9, 1998.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.