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Characteristics of High-Risk Sexual Behaviors for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Iranian Drug Abusers

Keshtkar, Abbasali PhD; Majdzadeh, Reza PhD; Nedjat, Saharnaz PhD; Gholipour, Mahin MPH, MD; Badakhshan, Abbas MPH, MD; Qorbani, Mostafa MSc; Vakili, Mohammadali PhD; Salari, Hadi MD

Journal of Addiction Medicine: June 2012 - Volume 6 - Issue 2 - p 153–158
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e31823f5fa7
Original Research

Objectives: This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence and the associated factors of high-risk sexual behaviors among drug abusers referred to a methadone clinic in Gorgan, the capital of Golestan province in the northeast of Iran, to help health care decision makers on designing interventional programs.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 400 drug abusers referred to our methadone clinic were evaluated for high-risk sexual behavior. A logistic regression model was fitted for the association between independent variables and high-risk sexual behavior.

Results: Approximately a quarter of patients (25.5%) had high-risk sexual behavior among which 47% had not used a condom in their last sexual contact. Drug abusers who had poor economic status had a lower chance of high-risk sexual behavior than those with good economic status (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.13–0.96). Also, 1-year increase in age reduced the chance by 6% (AOR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.91–0.98). Heroin abusers, compared with opium abusers, had a duplicated chance of having high-risk sex (AOR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.12–3.96).

Conclusion: According to this study, high-risk sexual behavior in the drug abusers referred to methadone clinic was associated with younger age, good economic status, and heroin addiction. Hence, in interventional planning, more attention should be paid to young drug abusers, patients with good economic status, and heroin addicts as well.

From the Community Medicine Department (AK, MG, MQ, MV) and Psychiatric Department (HS), School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences (AB), Gorgan; Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center (AK), Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (RM, SN, MG, MQ), and Health Care Management Department (AB), School of Public Health, and Knowledge Utilization Research Center (RM, SN), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Mahin Gholipour, MD, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Hirkan BLV- kilometer 2 Gorgan Sari Road, Gorgan, Iran, 4934174515. E-mail:

Supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Golestan University of Medical Sciences according to grant number 132/933 and 35/2333, respectively.

Received June 05, 2011

Accepted June 24, 2011

© 2012 American Society of Addiction Medicine