We describe and compare the drug-use patterns of ethnically diverse (45% white, 39% African American, 15% Hispanic) female and male intravenous drug users (IVDUs) not-in-treatment. Focusing on a group of hard-to-reach and economically disadvantaged IVDUs, we were able to document drug use patterns and practices that have been shown to place them at increased risk for AIDS. We were also able to examine if women IVDUs were at differential risk for AIDS in comparison to men IVDUs. Results indicated that female IVDUs practices may place them differentially at risk for contracting HIV because they were more likely than male IVDUs to share needles. When female IVDUs shared needles, they were also more likely than male IVDUs to share needles with a spouse or sexual partner. We argue that these results may be tied to gender role socialization and have important implications for designing interventions for female IVDUs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology