A cross sectional examination of risky sexual behaviors among a population of drug users

Marcie Garcia, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This study is a secondary data analysis that assesses the relationship between risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among drug users. This study analyzes data collected from drug users in the Houston Metropolitan area during 2004 and through August 2005, by researchers with the DASH (Drugs, AIDS, STDs and Hepatitis) project at The University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health. Specifically, the sexually transmitted infections that will be of interest in this proposed study are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Risky sexual behaviors that will be examined include lack of condom use, sexual orientation, trading sex for drugs, trading sex for money, and number of male and female sexual partners in the last 4 weeks. Unadjusted, gender, sexual orientation, number of recent male and female sex partners, and a history of injection drug use were all found to be significant independent variables that increased the odds of STI status. When included in an overall model, these variables significantly increased the odds of STI status, including HBV infection, HIV infection, and HBV/HIV co-infection. History of injection drug use was significant for both HBV and HBV/HIV co-infection, whereas a gay sexual orientation was significant for both HIV and HBV/HIV co-infection. Additionally, having excessive female sex partners was significant for HIV infection. This significant association increases the need for implementation of stronger intervention programs tailored to suit this population's needs such as a combination of drug and sexually transmitted disease (STD) treatment. The importance of these findings is that they establish the strength of associations between the previously mentioned risky sexual behaviors and STI status among drug users. This is crucial for assessing future risk of infection as well as for serving as a necessary component in intervention and treatment programs both for drug use and STIs.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Marcie, "A cross sectional examination of risky sexual behaviors among a population of drug users" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1447156.