Consistent condom use in relationships between seropositive injecting drug users and sex partners who do not inject drugs

Samuel R. Friedman, Benny Jose, Alan Neaigus, Marjorie Goldstein, Richard Curtis, Gilbert Ildefonso, Patrice Mota, Don C. Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To study how condom use in injecting drug users' (IDU) relationships differs according to whether they are HIV-infected, and to whether their sex partner is an IDU. Design and methods: A total of 317 street-recruited IDU were HIV-antibody tested and interviewed about 421 relationships with particular sex partners. Results: Condoms were consistently (100%) used in sex between partners (during the previous 30 days) in 33% of these relationships, and their use was significantly more frequent in relationships of seropositive IDU and in relationships with non-IDU partners. In relationships between seropositive IDU and non-IDU, consistent condom use was reported to be high (68%); this remained unchanged under multivariate controls. Conclusions: Self-reported condom use by IDU in New York, with its relatively mature epidemic appears to be concentrated where it may most reduce the spread of HIV to non-IDU heterosexuals, i.e., in relationships between infected IDU and non-IDU partners. Differential condom use by serostatus and by partners' drug injection should be incorporated into mathematical models of the HIV epidemic. Causes of the high level of condom use in this subset of relationships may include drug injector altruism and pressure by sex partners; prevention programs should develop ways to use both of these factors to motivate increased condom use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-361
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994


  • AIDS
  • Behavior change
  • Condom use
  • HIV
  • Heterosexual transmission
  • Injecting drug users
  • Relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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