Introduction: We analyzed relationships between place characteristics and being HIV-negative among black, Latino, and white people who inject drugs (PWID) in the US. Methods: Data on PWID (N = 9077) were from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2009 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance. Administrative data were analyzed to describe the 968 ZIP codes, 51 counties, and 19 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) where they lived. Multilevel multivariable models examined relationships between place characteristics and HIV status. Exploratory population attributable risk percents (e-PAR %s) were estimated. Results: Black and Latino PWID were more likely tobe HIV-negative if they lived in less economically disadvantaged counties, or in MSAs with less criminal-justice activity (i.e., lower drug-related arrest rates, lower policing/corrections expenditures). Latino PWID were more likely to be HIV-negative in MSAs with more Latino isolation, less black isolation, and less violent crime. E-PAR%s attributed 8-19% of HIV cases among black PWID and 1-15% of cases among Latino PWID to place characteristics. Discussion: Evaluations of structural interventions to improve economic conditions and reduce drug-related criminal justice activity may show evidence that they protect black and Latino PWID from HIV infection.
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