HIV infection rates are dramatically increasing in the Russian Federation. Epidemiological studies indicate that the greatest rise of HIV incidence has been among injection drug users (IDU). Young adults (N = 188) who reported injecting drug use completed surveys and interviews that assessed injection drug use behavior, sexual behavior, and HIV-related knowledge. The average age of participants was 21.3 years. Multiple linear regression analysis found male gender and younger age at sexual debut was positively and significantly associated with having multiple sexual partners. Gender moderated the effects of sexual debut and number of times injected drugs were used in the past month. Males who initiate sex at a younger age were more likely to report multiple sex partners and females who reported higher frequency of drug use were more likely to report multiple sex partners. Gender is an important factor, as well as moderator of risk behavior among Russian injection drug users. Delaying sexual debut, particularly for males, may be an effective strategy to reduce subsequent risk behavior. Prevention efforts among IDUs need to address sexual risk behavior in conjunction with injection risk behavior.
View details for DOI 10.1081/ADA-120026267
View details for Web of Science ID 000187385900011
View details for PubMedID 14713145