HIV serostatus and risk behaviors in a multisite sample of drug users

Sherry Deren, Mark Beardsley, Susan Coyle, Merrill Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In developing HIV prevention efforts, it is critical to determine whether interventions are effective in achieving declines in risk behavior among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals. Based on a multisite intervention study of injection drug users (IDUs) and crack smokers, 488 seropositive IDUs and 364 seropositive crack users were compared with randomly selected matched samples of seronegatives (with matching based on recruitment site, gender, age group and ethnicity) at baseline and six-month follow-up to compare changes in risk behaviors by serostatus. Results indicated that overall, risk behaviors declined substantially over time; significant interaction effects indicated that seropositives reported a greater decline in sex risk behaviors than seronegatives. These data support the utility of HIV testing for high-risk drug users, and indicate that interventions have produced red uctions in risk behaviors of both seropositives and seronegatives. Further research on the impact of site seroprevalence, and to enhance our understanding of those who continue to engage in risky behaviors, is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Crack smokers
  • Drug injectors
  • Risk behaviors
  • Serostatus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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