HIV/AIDS-related behavior change among injecting drug users in different national settings

Don C. Des Jarlais, Samuel R. Friedman, Patricia Friedmann, John Wenston, Jo L. Sotheran, Kachit Choopanya, Suphak Vanichseni, Suwanee Raktham, David Goldberg, Martin Frischer, Steven Green, Elson S. Lima, Francisco I. Bastos, Paulo R. Telles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To identify factors associated with effective AIDS behavior change among injecting drug users (IDU) in different national settings. Design: Cross-sectional surveys of IDU, with determination of HIV status. Trends in city HIV seroprevalence among IDU also used to validate effectiveness of behavior change. Setting and participants: Subjects recruited from drug-use treatment programs and outreach efforts in Bangkok, Thailand (n = 601), Glasgow, Scotland (n = 919), New York City, USA (n = 2539), and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (n = 466). Results: Evidence for the effectiveness of self-reported risk reduction was available for all cities. Univariate followed by multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with self-reported AIDS behavior change. Separate analyses were conducted for each city. Talking about AIDS with drug-using friends was significantly associated with behavior change in all four cities. Talking with sex partners about AIDS, educational level, knowing that someone can be HIV-infected and still look healthy, and having been tested previously for HIV were each significantly associated with behavior change in three of the four cities. Conclusions: Despite the substantial differences in these national settings, there were common factors associated with effective risk reduction. In particular, risk reduction appears to occur through social processes rather than through individual attitude change. HIV prevention programs need to explicitly incorporate social processes into their work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • AIDS
  • Behavior change
  • HIV prevention
  • Injecting drug users
  • Risk reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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