429 research outputs found

    Social and Structural Factors Associated with HIV Infection among Female Sex Workers Who Inject Drugs in the Mexico-US Border Region

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    BACKGROUND: FSWs who inject drugs (FSW-IDUs) can acquire HIV through high risk sexual and injection behaviors. We studied correlates of HIV infection among FSW-IDUs in northern Mexico, where sex work is quasi-legal and syringes can be legally obtained without a prescription. METHODS: FSW-IDUs>18 years old who reported injecting drugs and recent unprotected sex with clients in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez underwent surveys and HIV/STI testing. Logistic regression identified correlates of HIV infection. RESULTS: Of 620 FSW-IDUs, prevalence of HIV, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, trichomonas, syphilis titers ≥1:8, or any of these infections was 5.3%, 4%, 13%, 35%, 10% and 72%, respectively. Compared to other FSW-IDUs, HIV-positive women were more likely to: have syphilis titers ≥1:8 (36% vs. 9%, p<0.001), often/always inject drugs with clients (55% vs. 32%, p = 0.01), and experience confiscation of syringes by police (49% vs. 28%, p = 0.02). Factors independently associated with HIV infection were syphilis titers ≥1:8, often/always injecting with clients and police confiscation of syringes. Women who obtained syringes from NEPs (needle exchange programs) within the last month had lower odds of HIV infection associated with active syphilis, but among non-NEP attenders, the odds of HIV infection associated with active syphilis was significantly elevated. CONCLUSIONS: Factors operating in both the micro-social environment (i.e., injecting drugs with clients) and policy environment (i.e., having syringes confiscated by police, attending NEPs) predominated as factors associated with risk of HIV infection, rather than individual-level risk behaviors. Interventions should target unjustified policing practices, clients' risk behaviors and HIV/STI prevention through NEPs

    Injection Drug Use as a Mediator Between Client-perpetrated Abuse and HIV Status Among Female Sex Workers in Two Mexico-US Border Cities

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    We examined relationships between client-perpetrated emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, injection drug use, and HIV-serostatus among 924 female sex workers (FSWs) in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, two large Mexico-US border cities. We hypothesized that FSWs’ injection drug use would mediate the relationship between client-perpetrated abuse and HIV-seropositivity. The prevalence of client-perpetrated emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in the past 6 months was 26, 18, and 10% respectively; prevalence of current injection drug use and HIV was 12 and 6%, respectively. Logistic regression analyses revealed that client-perpetrated sexual abuse was significantly associated with HIV-seropositivity and injection drug use, and that injection drug use was positively associated with HIV-seropositivity. Injection drug use partially mediated the relationship between client-perpetrated sexual abuse and HIV-seropositivity. Results suggest the need to address client-perpetrated violence and injection drug use when assessing HIV risk among FSWs

    Border Crossing to Inject Drugs in Mexico Among Injection Drug Users in San Diego, California

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    We examined correlates of ever injecting drugs in Mexico among residents of San Diego, California. From 2007 to 2010, injecting drug users (IDUs) in San Diego underwent an interviewer-administered survey. Logistic regression identified correlates of injection drug use in Mexico. Of 302 IDUs, 38% were Hispanic, 72% male and median age was 37; 27% ever injected in Mexico; 43% reported distributive syringe sharing there. Factors independently associated with ever injecting drugs in Mexico included being younger at first injection, injecting heroin, distributive syringe sharing at least half of the time, and transporting drugs over the last 6 months. One-quarter of IDUs reported ever injecting drugs in Mexico, among whom syringe sharing was common, suggesting possible mixing between IDUs in the Mexico-US border region. Prospective studies should monitor trends in cross-border drug use in light of recent Mexican drug policy reforms partially decriminalizing drug possession

    Barriers to Pharmacy-Based Syringe Purchase Among Injection Drug Users in Tijuana, Mexico: A Mixed Methods Study

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    Injection drug users (IDUs) may be denied purchase of sterile syringes even where purchase without a prescription is legal. This study examined barriers to over-the-counter (OTC) syringe purchase among IDUs in Tijuana, Mexico. A quantitative survey and subsequent focus groups were used to quantify barriers to purchase, identify their correlates and provide in-depth exploration of syringe purchase experiences. Of 627 IDUs, 81% purchased a syringe in the past 6 months and 16% were refused or overcharged. Factors independently associated with refusal/overcharging were homelessness, receptive syringe sharing, >5 uses per syringe, and number of lifetime abscesses. Few pharmacies sold syringes to IDUs, who adapted by limiting purchase attempts to pharmacies known to sell syringes consistently. Failed purchases occurred when drug withdrawal required purchase at unusual times or locations, often following release from jail. IDUs reported syringe sharing, syringe reuse, and searching through unsecured medical waste for syringes in response to failed purchase attempts. Interventions to expand OTC syringe sales to IDUs, particularly near detention facilities, will facilitate safer injection practices

    A Qualitative View of Drug Use Behaviors of Mexican Male Injection Drug Users Deported from the United States

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    Deportees are a hidden yet highly vulnerable and numerous population. Significantly, little data exists about the substance use and deportation experiences of Mexicans deported from the United States. This pilot qualitative study describes illicit drug use behaviors among 24 Mexico-born male injection drug users (IDUs), ≥18 years old, residing in Tijuana, Mexico who self-identified as deportees from the United States. In-person interviews were conducted in Tijuana, Mexico in 2008. Content analysis of interview transcripts identified major themes in participants’ experiences. Few participants had personal or family exposures to illicit drugs prior to their first U.S. migration. Participants reported numerous deportations. Social (i.e., friends/family, post-migration stressors) and environmental factors (e.g., drug availability) were perceived to contribute to substance use initiation in the U.S. Drugs consumed in the United States included marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and crack. More than half of men were IDUs prior to deportation. Addiction and justice system experiences reportedly contributed to deportation. After deportation, several men injected new drugs, primarily heroin or methamphetamine, or a combination of both drugs. Many men perceived an increase in their substance use after deportation and reported shame and loss of familial social and economic support. Early intervention is needed to stem illicit drug use in Mexican migrant youths. Binational cooperation around migrant health issues is warranted. Migrant-oriented programs may expand components that address mental health and drug use behaviors in an effort to reduce transmission of blood-borne infections. Special considerations are merited for substance users in correctional systems in the United States and Mexico, as well as substance users in United States immigration detention centers. The health status and health behaviors of deportees are likely to impact receiving Mexican communities. Programs that address health, social, and economic issues may aid deportees in resettling in Mexico

    Cost-Effectiveness of an Intervention to Reduce HIV/STI Incidence and Promote Condom Use among Female Sex Workers in the Mexico–US Border Region

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    Previous research demonstrated efficacy of a brief behavioral intervention to reduce incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers (FSWs) in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, cities on Mexico's border with the US. We assessed this intervention's cost-effectiveness.A life-time Markov model was developed to estimate HIV cases prevented, changes in quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE), and costs per additional quality-adjusted life year gained (QALY), comparing (in US2,009)nointerventiontoaonceonlyandannualintervention.Futurecostsandhealthbenefitswerediscountedannuallyat32,009) no intervention to a once-only and annual intervention. Future costs and health benefits were discounted annually at 3%. Sensitivity analyses evaluated model robustness. We found that for a hypothetical 1,000 FSWs receiving the once-only intervention, there were 33 HIV cases prevented and 5.7 months of QALE gained compared to no intervention. The additional cost per QALY gained was US183. For FSWs receiving the intervention annually, there were 29 additional HIV cases prevented and 4.5 additional months of QALE compared to the once-only intervention. The additional cost per QALY was US$1,075. When highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was included in the model, the annual intervention strategy resulted in net savings and dominated both once-only and no intervention strategies, and remained robust across extensive sensitivity analyses. Even when considering clinical benefits from HAART, ignoring added costs, the cost per QALY gained remained below three times the Mexican GDP per capita, and below established cost-effectiveness thresholds.This brief intervention was shown to be cost-effective among FSWs in two Mexico-US border cities and may have application for FSWs in other resource-limited settings.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00338845

    Differential Effects of Migration and Deportation on HIV Infection among Male and Female Injection Drug Users in Tijuana, Mexico

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    HIV prevalence is rising, especially among high risk females in Tijuana, Baja California, a Mexico-US border city situated on major migration and drug trafficking routes. We compared factors associated with HIV infection among male and female injection drug users (IDUs) in Tijuana in an effort to inform HIV prevention and treatment programs. IDUs aged ≥18 years were recruited using respondent-driven sampling and underwent testing for HIV, syphilis and structured interviews. Logistic regression identified correlates of HIV infection, stratified by gender. Among 1056 IDUs, most were Mexican-born but 67% were born outside Tijuana. Reasons for moving to Tijuana included deportation from the US (56% for males, 29% for females), and looking for work/better life (34% for females, 15% for males). HIV prevalence was higher in females versus males (10.2% vs. 3.5%, p = 0.001). Among females (N = 158), factors independently associated with higher HIV prevalence included younger age, lifetime syphilis infection and living in Tijuana for longer durations. Among males (N = 898), factors independently associated with higher HIV prevalence were syphilis titers consistent with active infection, being arrested for having ‘track-marks’, having larger numbers of recent injection partners and living in Tijuana for shorter durations. An interaction between gender and number of years lived in Tijuana regressed on HIV infection was significant (p = 0.03). Upon further analysis, deportation from the U.S. explained the association between shorter duration lived in Tijuana and HIV infection among males; odds of HIV infection were four-fold higher among male injectors deported from the US, compared to other males, adjusting for all other significant correlates (p = 0.002). Geographic mobility has a profound influence on Tijuana's evolving HIV epidemic, and its impact is significantly modified by gender. Future studies are needed to elucidate the context of mobility and HIV acquisition in this region, and whether US immigration policies adversely affect HIV risk

    HIV-1 subtype A infection in a community of intravenous drug users in Pakistan

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    BACKGROUND: Data on the subtypes of HIV in a population help in predicting the potential foci of epidemic, tracking the routes of infection and following the patterns of the virus' genetic divergence. Globally, the most prevalent HIV infection is the HIV-1 subtype C. In Asia, predominant subtypes of HIV-1 are B, C, and CRF-01AE. During the last few years, HIV prevalence in Pakistan has taken the form of a concentrated epidemic in at least two high risk groups, namely, Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) and Male Sex Workers (MSWs). Factors that have facilitated the proliferation of HIV infection include transmission through a large number of repatriates and needle-sharing intravenous drug users, unscreened blood transfusions, and sexual illiteracy. The HIV subtypes infecting Pakistani populations have not been explored to date. In this study, we analyzed HIV-1 subtypes from in a high-risk community of IDUs in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan. METHODS: Samples were collected from 34 IDUs after their informed consent. In addition, the study subjects were administered a questionnaire regarding their sexual behavior and travel history. For HIV analysis, DNA was extracted from the samples and analyzed for HIV types and subtypes using subtype-specific primers in a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results from this PCR were further confirmed using the Heteroduplex Mobility Assay (HMA). RESULTS: We found HIV-1 subtype A in all the 34 samples analyzed. A few of the study subjects were found to have a history of travel and stay in the United Arab Emirates. The same subjects also admitted to having contact with commercial sex workers during their stay abroad. CONCLUSION: Our study therefore shows clade A HIV-1 to be prevalent among the IDUs in Karachi. As the prevalence of HIV in Pakistan continues to rise, more work needs to be done to track the infection, and to analyze the strains of HIV spreading through the country

    Respondent-Driven Sampling of Injection Drug Users in Two U.S.–Mexico Border Cities: Recruitment Dynamics and Impact on Estimates of HIV and Syphilis Prevalence

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    Respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a chain referral sampling approach, is increasingly used to recruit participants from hard-to-reach populations, such as injection drug users (IDUs). Using RDS, we recruited IDUs in Tijuana and Ciudad (Cd.) Juárez, two Mexican cities bordering San Diego, CA and El Paso, TX, respectively, and compared recruitment dynamics, reported network size, and estimates of HIV and syphilis prevalence. Between February and April 2005, we used RDS to recruit IDUs in Tijuana (15 seeds, 207 recruits) and Cd. Juárez (9 seeds, 197 recruits), Mexico for a cross-sectional study of behavioral and contextual factors associated with HIV, HCV and syphilis infections. All subjects provided informed consent, an anonymous interview, and a venous blood sample for serologic testing of HIV, HCV, HBV (Cd. Juárez only) and syphilis antibody. Log-linear models were used to analyze the association between the state of the recruiter and that of the recruitee in the referral chains, and population estimates of the presence of syphilis antibody were obtained, correcting for biased sampling using RDS-based estimators. Sampling of the targeted 200 recruits per city was achieved rapidly (2 months in Tijuana, 2 weeks in Cd. Juárez). After excluding seeds and missing data, the sample prevalence of HCV, HIV and syphilis were 96.6, 1.9 and 13.5% respectively in Tijuana, and 95.3, 4.1, and 2.7% respectively in Cd. Juárez (where HBV prevalence was 84.7%). Syphilis cases were clustered in recruitment trees. RDS-corrected estimates of syphilis antibody prevalence ranged from 12.8 to 26.8% in Tijuana and from 2.9 to 15.6% in Ciudad Juárez, depending on how recruitment patterns were modeled, and assumptions about how network size affected an individual’s probability of being included in the sample. RDS was an effective method to rapidly recruit IDUs in these cities. Although the frequency of HIV was low, syphilis prevalence was high, particularly in Tijuana. RDS-corrected estimates of syphilis prevalence were sensitive to model assumptions, suggesting that further validation of RDS is necessary
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