Increased risk of HIV and other drug-related harms associated with injecting in public places: national bio-behavioural survey of people who inject drugs

Kirsten M.A. Trayner, Andrew McAuley, Norah E. Palmateer, David J. Goldberg, Samantha J. Shepherd, Rory N Gunson, Emily J Tweed, Saket Priyadarshi, Catriona Milosevic, Sharon J. Hutchinson

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Abstract

Background: Whilst injecting drugs in public places is considered a proxy for high risk behaviour among people who inject drugs (PWID), studies quantifying its relationship with multiple drug-related harms are lacking and none have examined this in the context of an ongoing HIV outbreak (located in Glasgow, Scotland). We aimed to: 1) estimate the prevalence of public injecting in Scotland and associated risk factors; and 2) estimate the association between public injecting and HIV, current HCV, overdose, and skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). Methods: Cross-sectional, bio-behavioural survey (including dried blood spot testing to determine HIV and HCV infection) of 1469 current PWID (injected in last 6 months) recruited by independent interviewers from 139 harm reduction services across Scotland during 2017–18. Primary outcomes were: injecting in a public place (yes/no); HIV infection; current HCV infection; self-reported overdose in the last year (yes/no) and SSTI the last year (yes/no). Multi-variable logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with public injecting and to estimate the association between public injecting and drug-related harms (HIV, current HCV, overdose and SSTI). Results: Prevalence of public injecting was 16% overall in Scotland and 47% in Glasgow city centre. Factors associated with increased odds of public injecting were: recruitment in Glasgow city centre (aOR=5.45, 95% CI 3.48–8.54, p
Original languageEnglish
Article number102663
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume77
Early online date22 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • public injecting
  • drug-related harms
  • HIV
  • harm reduction
  • people who inject drugs

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