Introduction of HIV into drug injector networks outside AIDS epicentres

Mark L. Williams, Zixian Zhao, Anne M. Bowen, Robert C. Freeman, William N. Elwood, Ryan Rusek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Injection drug users (IDUs) continue to be at risk for HIV infection despite high levels of knowledge about how human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is transmitted. Yet, among not-in-treatment injection drug users, the chances of becoming infected with HIV vary substantially. Information regarding the factors that facilitate the introduction of HIV into networks of drug injectors in low HIV seroprevalence cities is urgently needed. This study examines the factors related to HIV seroprevalence in a large (n = 9492), multi-site sample of IDUs recruited in 11 low seroprevalence cities. Univariate and multivariate associations between drug injection and sexual behaviours and travel to an AIDS epicentre were examined. Results show that, next to male-to-male sexual contact, having sex at least twice in an AIDS epicentre was the strongest predictor of HIV infection. Also associated with higher odds of being HIV-positive were racial/ethnic characteristics, daily drug injection, and injecting drugs in an AIDS epicentre. These results confirm that travelling to an AIDS epicentre and having sex or injecting drugs play a large role in the introduction of HIV into drug injector networks in low seroprevalence cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997


  • Drug use
  • Drug user network
  • HIV infection
  • Low seroprevalence area
  • Sexual risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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