Heterosexual transmission of HIV infection in intravenous and non-intravenous drug-using populations

M. P. Webber, E. E. Schoenbaum

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2 Scopus citations


The paper reports results of a study conducted a evaluate the prevalence of HIV antibody and associated high-risk sex behavior in 2 populations of drug-using persons in the Bronx, New York City. Heterosexual behavior in relation to the risk of HIV infection was studied in these groups which shared a common, low socioeconomic level, and non-white racial status. The 1st group consisted of 516 interviewed women obtaining 1st-trimester abortions at a family planning clinic. The mean age was 24 years, with none reporting intravenous drug use (IVDU). 1.8% were seropositive for HIV antibodies. Those reporting either personal or partner drug use, especially cocaine, were significantly more likely to report high-risk sex behavior. The 2nd group was comprised of 518 interviewed IVDUs in long-term methadone maintenance treatment programs, with a mean age of 33 years. Baseline prevalence for antibody to HIV was 44%. High-risk behavior was reduced overall during the 36-month period from baseline to follow-up, although a subgroup of 104 either did not reduce or began high-risk drug and sex behavior over the period. Seroconversion of HIV antibody was highest among crack versus non-crack users, with the strongest predictor for conversion identified as prostitution. HIV infection rates are high in the Bronx among both IV and non-IV drug-using women, with cocaine use in any form viewed as a correlate of very high-risk heterosexual activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45
Number of pages1
JournalArchives of AIDS Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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