Migrant drug users: Predictors of HIV-related sexual and injection risk behaviors

Sherry Deren, Sung Yeon Kang, Milton Mino, Honoria Guarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Puerto Rican drug users recruited in NY who previously used drugs in Puerto Rico (PR) have been found to have higher HIV injection and sex-related risk behaviors than those who had not used in PR. This study examined predictors of risk among migrant Puerto Rican drug users. (For the purpose of this paper, the term "migrant" was used to designate Puerto Rican drug users who had used drugs in Puerto Rico and were recruited in New York or New Jersey). Methods A total of 290 drug users who had previously used drugs in PR were recruited in NY and New Jersey and interviewed regarding drug use history and HIV risk behaviors. Results Participants engaged in high risk behaviors, e.g., 39% shared injection paraphernalia and 62% reported unprotected sex. Multivariate analyses found that predictors of injection-related risk included being born in PR and purchasing drugs jointly with other drug users; predictors of sex-related risk included younger age and homelessness. Discussion Addressing risk reduction among those drug users who were born in Puerto Rico and are younger or homeless was indicated, and efforts to reach those at highest risk through NEPs was recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Drug users
  • HIV risk
  • Migrant drug users
  • Puerto rico

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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