Individuals in the criminal justice system engage in behaviors that put them at high risk for HIV. This study sought to identify characteristics of individuals who are under community corrections supervision (eg, probation) and at risk for HIV.
Approximately 25,000 individuals under community corrections supervision were assessed for HIV risk, and 5059 participants were deemed high-risk or no-risk. Of those, 1519 exhibited high sexual-risk (SR) behaviors, 203 exhibited injection drug risk (IVR), 957 exhibited both types of risk (SIVR), and 2380 exhibited no risk. Sociodemographic characteristics and drug of choice were then examined using univariate and binary logistic regression.
Having a history of sexual abuse, not having insurance, and selecting any drug of choice were associated with all forms of HIV risk. However, the effect sizes associated with the various drugs of choice varied significantly by group. Aside from those common risk factors, very different patterns emerged. Female gender was a risk factor for the SR group but was less likely to be associated with IVR. Younger age was associated with SR, whereas older age was associated with IVR. Black race was a risk factor for SR but had a negative association with IVR and SIVR. Living in a shelter, living with relatives/friends, and being unemployed were all risk factors for IVR but were protective factors for SR.
Distinct sociodemographic and substance use characteristics were associated with sexual versus injection drug use risk for individuals under community corrections supervision who were at risk for HIV. Information from this study could help identify high-risk individuals and allow tailoring of interventions.