Faculty Articles

Title

Latina Injection Drug Users: A Descriptive Analysis of an Overlooked Population in South Florida

Publication Title

HIV and Sexual Health Open Access Open Journal

Volume

1

Issue

1

Publication Date / Copyright Date

6-24-2019

First Page

1

Last Page

6

Publisher

SOAOJ Publishing

Abstract

Abstract

Introduction

This study examined the practices of drug use and risk of infectious blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among Latino Injection Drug Users (IDUs) to inform intervention efforts.

Design

This was a descriptive study of female Latino IDUs in South Florida (n=30). Participants were recruited from non-institutional settings using targeted snowball sampling.

Results

Two-thirds (66.7%) of the sample were diagnosed with HBV, 83.3% with HCV, and 16.7% were HIV positive. The average times of HIV testing were 8.07 (SD=9.25, range 1-50) days, and for HCV was 3.20 (SD=2.42, range 1-10) days. Only 10% reported their health status as poor, and the average number of days in the last three months that subjects were sick or injured was 15.97 (SD=22.81, range 0-90). Almost half of all subjects (43.3%) reported that they needed health care in the past three months, but only 46.3% of those subjects received health care services.

Conclusion

The findings of this study show that female IDUs reported HCV, HBV, and HIV and perceived themselves as healthy. Harm reduction programs should focus on prevention of initial drug injection behavior, reducing sex risk and needle-sharing behaviors.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Keywords

HIV/AIDS risk; hepatitis C virus; Latina female injection drug users; sexual risk behaviors, South Florida

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