HIV Needle Risk Behaviors and Drug Use: A Comparison of Crack-Smoking and Non-Smoking Injection Drug Users in Ohio

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This study compares the drug use and needle risk behaviors among 733 crack-smoking injection drug users (IDUs) and 518 nonsmoking IDUs. Participants were recruited in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, for the Cooperative Agreement for AIDS Community-Based Outreach/Intervention Research Program from 1992 to 1996. Crack-smoking IDUs were more likely to be male, African-American, and 30 to 40 years of age, but less likely to be married or living with a sex partner compared to nonsmokers. Daily crack users were less likely to be daily injectors but more likely to use alcohol daily when compared to non-crack users and less-than-daily crack smokers. IDUs who smoked crack less than daily were more likely to have injected with needles and syringes used by others. There is an urgent need for additional research on the relationship between drug injection and crack smoking as well as improved HIV risk-reduction interventions that include drug abuse treatment components focusing on issues surrounding crack-cocaine addiction.

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