Correlates of HIV status among injection drug users in a border Region of Southern China and Northern Vietnam

Theodore M. Hammett, Patrick Johnston, Ryan Kling, Wei Liu, Doan Ngu, Nguyen Duy Tung, Kieu Thanh Binh, Ha Viet Dong, Tran Vu Hoang, Ly Kieu Van, Meng Donghua, Yi Chen, Don C. Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents an analysis of the correlates of HIV status among samples of injection drug users (IDUs) in Lang Son Province, Vietnam (n = 348), and Ning Ming County, Guangxi Province, China (n = 294), who were interviewed and tested for HIV antibody just before the start of a peer-based HIV prevention intervention in this border region. Participants were largely male, in their 20s, and single. Logistic regression analysis suggests that among Chinese IDUs, border-related factors (eg, living closer to the border, buying drugs across the border more frequently) and younger age are the best predictors of HIV positivity. In Vietnam, HIV status seems to drive behavior (eg, some risk reduction practices are predictive of HIV positivity). These differing patterns may reflect the fact that the intertwined epidemics of heroin injection and HIV began earlier and HIV prevalence has reached significantly higher levels in Lang Son than across the border in Ning Ming. Although border-related factors emerge as predictors in Ning Ming, more IDUs in Lang Son are HIV-positive and may be reacting behaviorally to that status. Their greater likelihood of engaging in risk reduction measures may reflect some combination of a belief that risk reduction can slow disease progression and an altruistic desire to avoid infecting others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005


  • HIV prevention
  • Harm reduction
  • Injection drug users
  • Needle exchange
  • Peer education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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