Journal Article

Knowledge of HIV Serostatus and Preventive Behaviour among European Injecting Drug Users: Second Study

Martin G. Schlumberger, Jean-Claude Desenclos, George Papaevangelou, S. Clive Richardson and Rosemary Ancelle-Park
European Journal of Epidemiology
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Mar., 1999), pp. 207-215
Published by: Springer
https://www.jstor.org/stable/3582292
Page Count: 9

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Topics: HIV, Condoms, AIDS, Trucks, Disease risks, Injections, Equipment reuse, Medical syringes, Prostitution
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Knowledge of HIV Serostatus and Preventive Behaviour among European Injecting Drug Users: Second Study
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Abstract

The objective of the study was to analyse the effect of knowledge of HIV serostatus on behaviours preventing the acquisition or transmission of HIV among European IDU, and to compare results with a previous similar study conducted 3 years before. Data were gathered in 1992-1993 during a retrospective multicentre cross-sectional study of IDU recruited in 11 European countries, in specialized centers and on the street. We compared, between groups with different HIV serological status (IDU who knew well before their HIV-positive serological status, IDU who knew their HIV-negative serostatus and IDU who did not know before their serological status), the respective proportions of IDU who reported that, during the six months prior to interview, (1) always used condoms, (2) never gave their used injecting equipment to other IDU, (3) always injected drugs safely. We only included IDU who had known their serological status for at least six months prior to interview. Results were compared to the similar survey conducted in 1990. From 2171 IDU recruited, data of 1334 IDU were included in the analysis. Compared with IDU who did not know their HIV serostatus, only IDU knowing their HIV-positive serostatus used condoms significantly more often (37% compared to 15%, rate ratio (RR): 2.4; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.8-2.3) and never gave their used injecting equipment to other IDU (69% compared to 53%, RR: 1.3; 95% CI: 1.2-1.4). In comparison with the 1990 study, only condom use significantly improved and only for IDU who knew their HIV-negative serostatus (13% compared to 9%, RR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1-2.3). This study confirms among European IDU the relation between knowing own HIV serological status to preventive behaviours. However, there were only minor improvements between 1990 and 1992-1993, indicating that prevention of HIV transmission among IDU must be reinforced.