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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

IUPUI: Study Examines Changes in Reported Injection Behaviors Following Public Health Response to Indiana HIV Outbreak

Dr. Joan Duwve, associate professor of health policy and management at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – Indianapolis (IUPUI), collaborated on a study examining changes in injection behaviors after a syringe services program (SSP) was established in response to an human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) outbreak among persons who inject drugs (PWID) in Scott County.

Among Indiana-based PWID, the researchers examined injection behaviors associated with HIV status, SSP use after its establishment, and changes in injection behaviors after the outbreak response. During 2016, the researchers interviewed 200 PWID and assessed injection behaviors before the response by HIV status. They reported injection behaviors prior to the response and used Fisher’s exact Chi square tests to assess differences by HIV status.

Next, among persons who injected both before (July–December 2014) and after (past 30 days) the response, the researchers reported the proportion of persons who used the SSP to obtain sterile syringes, and assessed differences in SSP use by HIV status using Fisher’s exact Chi square tests; compared distributive and receptive sharing of injection equipment and disposal of syringes before and after the outbreak response; and assessed statistical differences using McNemar’s test.

Injection behaviors were also compared before and after the response by HIV status. The following were associated with HIV infection before the response: injecting extended release oxymorphone (Opana® ER); receptive sharing of syringes and cookers; and distributive sharing of cookers, filters, or water. SSP use was high (86 percent), particularly among HIV-positive compared with HIV-negative persons (98 percent vs. 84 percent).

The full study is published in AIDS and Behavior.

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