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HIV infection and risk behaviors in two cross-sectional surveys of heterosexuals in alcoholism treatment.


J Stud Alcohol. 2000 Mar;61(2):262-6. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

OBJECTIVE: To measure the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and high-risk behaviors among heterosexuals in alcoholism treatment, comparing two cross-sectional surveys completed 2 to 3 years apart. METHOD: Two groups of entrants to alcoholism treatment clinics were recruited, between October 1990 and December 1991 (n = 860; 639 men) and between January 1993 and March 1994 (n = 752; 520 men). Participants underwent a structured interview including an assessment of demographics. substance abuse characteristics and sexual behaviors, as well as serotesting for HIV antibodies. Associations were examined between HIV serostatus and several factors, including demographic variables, substance use and high-risk sexual behaviors. RESULTS: The overall HIV seroprevalence in the first and second samples was 5% (95% CI: 3-6%) and 5% (95% CI: 3-7%). When the two samples were compared, there were no significant differences in prevalence of HIV infection by categories of gender, race, income and most other demographic characteristics within either sample: history of injection drug use (IDU) was significantly related to HIV serostatus in both samples. Unsafe sexual practices were common in both samples. When samples were combined, those 30 years of age or older were more likely to be HIV infected, and men and women with no reported history of IDU still had an HIV prevalence of 3% and 2%, respectively. More than half of the respondents had two or more partners in the previous 6 months and reported a history of a sexually transmitted disease. CONCLUSIONS: There was no change in the substantial prevalence of HIV infection and high-risk behavior among heterosexual clients entering alcoholism treatment programs over the 3.5-year study period. The HIV prevalence among non-IDU clients remained several times higher than published estimates from similar community-based heterosexual samples. These data reinforce the concept that heterosexual noninjection drug users are at high risk for HIV and may benefit from intervention programs.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Adult Alcoholism/*EPIDEMIOLOGY/PSYCHOLOGY/REHABILITATION Cross-Sectional Studies Female Human HIV Seropositivity/*EPIDEMIOLOGY/PSYCHOLOGY/TRANSMISSION *Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Male Middle Age Patient Admission Risk-Taking San Francisco/EPIDEMIOLOGY Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. Urban Population/*STATISTICS & NUMER DATA


Information in this article was accurate in July 30, 2000. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.