HIV Prevalence and Associated Risks in a Respondent-Driven Sample of Illicit Stimulant Users in a Southern United States City.
Stimulant abuse is a major contributor to HIV transmission in the United States, yet HIV prevalence among persons who use illicit stimulants remains unknown. We implemented respondent driven sampling (RDS) to estimate the prevalence of HIV infection in this high-risk population. We also examined RDS-adjusted rates of risk behaviors among HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants. Recruited from seven seeds, our sample of 387 participants was 46% female, 89% African American, and 45.94 years old on average. Participants were predominantly non-injection cocaine users, had large networks of stimulant users, and reported an established relationship with their recruiter. The adjusted population proportion of HIV infection was 0.07 (0.04, 0.11). The majority of sexually active participants reported engagement in risk behaviors (73%), but rates generally did not differ by HIV status. Our results highlight that stimulant use is a risk factor for HIV infection. This study also demonstrates that RDS is a very effective strategy for reaching stimulant users in the community.
Meade, CS; Towe, SL; Xu, Y; Rainer, C
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