Author(s): Essien EJ, Ogungbade GO, Ward D, FernandezEsquer ME, Smith CR,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Injecting drug use (IDU) remains an actual risk variable in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in most ethnic populations, and the association between actual risk and individual perception of HIV risk varies across studies and samples. This study aimed to examine the relationship between IDU and HIV risk perception among Mexican Americans residing in Rio Grande Valley, South Texas. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of IDU as a predictor of HIV risk perception. METHODS: Two hundred and seventy-five participants [IDUs 11.9\%, non-IDUs 88.1\%] were assessed for an association between IDU and individual risk perception for HIV infection, as well as history of drug use and HIV risk perception, using Chi-squared statistic for independence and a logistic regression model for the prevalence odds ratio (POR). RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between IDUs and non-IDUs with respect to the sociodemographic variables, except for income and gender (P<0.05). The results indicated a statistically significant decrease in HIV risk perception among IDUs compared with non-IDUs, after adjustment for age, gender, sexual preference, history of drug use and marital status [POR 0.26, 95\% confidence intervals (CI) 0.11-0.65]. Likewise, history of drug use was associated with decreased HIV risk perception (POR 0.44, 95\% CI 0.22-0.98). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest an inverse correlation between actual risk of HIV infection, such as IDU, and HIV risk perception. Therefore, assessment of HIV risk perception, which is a significant determinant of behaviour change, is essential to reduce the prevalence of HIV infection in the targeted population.
This article was published in Public Health
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research