Variations in Paraphernalia Sharing among IDUs:
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Variations in Paraphernalia Sharing among IDUs: Do Attitudes of Other IDUs in the Neighborhood Matter?. Wei Teng, Robert Heimer, Merrill Singer, Tom Stopka, David Buchanan The Hispanic Health Council, Hartford, CT; Yale University, New Haven, CT; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

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Variations in Paraphernalia Sharing among IDUs: Do Attitudes of Other IDUs in the Neighborhood Matter?

Wei Teng, Robert Heimer, Merrill Singer, Tom Stopka, David Buchanan

The Hispanic Health Council, Hartford, CT; Yale University, New Haven, CT; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA


The study sample
The Study Sample

  • 875 IDUs from 24 neighborhoods in three Northeast cities.

  • The data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a survey instrument of Syringe Access, Use & Discard Assessment (SAUDA) from December, 1999 through September, 2001.


Measures i
Measures I

  • The General Attitude of Other IDUs in the Neighborhood towards Drug-Related HIV Risk Behavior

    • Measured by 8 items of drug-related HIV risk & protection behavior.

    • Participants rated the general attitude of other IDUs in their neighborhoods regarding each item on a 5-point scale.

    • A General Attitude variable was computed based on the mean scores of the 8 items.


Measures ii
Measures II

  • Drug Injection Paraphernalia Sharing

    • Indicated by three dichotomous variables of Syringe Sharing, Water Sharing, and Cooker/Cotton Sharing

    • The three variables were computed based on the number of times in the past 30 days that a participant used a syringe, water to mix up drug, a cooker, or a cotton that had already been used by another IDU.


Variations in the prevalence of injection paraphernalia sharing across the cities
Variations in the Prevalence of Injection Paraphernalia Sharing Across the Cities


Variations in the prevalence of injection paraphernalia sharing across the neighborhoods
Variations in the Prevalence of Injection Paraphernalia Sharing Across the Neighborhoods


General attitude of other idus and injection paraphernalia sharing
General Attitude of Other IDUs and Injection Paraphernalia Sharing





Summary of the findings
Summary of the Findings

  • The prevalence of injection paraphernalia sharing among IDUs varied by neighborhood.

  • IDUs who did share reported a more accepting attitude towards risky behavior from other IDUs in their neighborhoods.

  • IDUs’ perception of the attitude of other IDUs in their neighborhoods towards risk behavior was significantly associated with their own recent sharing behavior.


Implications of the findings
Implications of the Findings

  • Other IDUs’ attitude towards drug-related HIV risk behavior is an important factor in determining an IDU’s own HIV risk behavior.

  • AIDS/HIV prevention/education that target on not only individual injection drug users but also local IDUs group and their peer norms should be more effective.


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