JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

History of sexually transmitted diseases infection, drug-sex behaviors, and the use of condoms among midwestern users of injection drugs and crack cocaine

H A Siegal, R S Falck, J Wang, R G Carlson
Sexually Transmitted Diseases 1996, 23 (4): 277-82
8836020

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: This study describes self-reported histories of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) with respect to gender and ethnicity and examines the factors that influence the use of condoms among heterosexual users of injection drugs and/or crack cocaine.

STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional design was used to interview 1046 active users of illicit drugs living in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.

RESULTS: STD was common among 29% of the white men, 53.6% of the black men, 55.9% of the white women, and 64.7% of the black women self-reporting previous infection. Among women, stepwise logistic regression showed that cohabitating with a spouse or a sex partner (OR 0.28; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.77) and exchanging sex for drugs (OR 0.31; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.88) were associated negatively with always using a condom during vaginal sex in the previous month, whereas exchanging sex for money (OR 4.48; 95% CI, 1.88 to 10.95) was associated positively. Among men, cohabitating with a spouse or a sex partner (OR 0.13; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.31), having had an STD (OR 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.85), and currently using injection drugs (OR 0.52; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.84) were associated negatively with condom use.

CONCLUSIONS: Users of illicit drugs are at high risk for the acquisition and transmission of STD. More research is needed to understand better the sex practices of users of injection drugs and crack cocaine so that appropriate interventions can be developed.

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