HIV seroprevalence among drug users: an analysis of selected variables based on 10 years of data collection in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Flavio Pechansky, George Woody, James Inciardi, Hilary Surratt, Felix Kessler, Lisia Von Diemen, Daniela Benzano Bumaguin

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34 Scopus citations


Data from five studies were pooled to describe associations between drug use and HIV. The Risk Assessment. Battery in Porto Alegre, Brazil, was used to collect data from 1449 subjects in 5 separate studies conducted between 1995 and 2004. The subjects were divided into categories based on their pattern of drug use: (1) injection drug users (IDUs), (2) crack smokers, (3) frequent drug users, and (4) infrequent cocaine/alcohol/marijuana users. The sample consisted primarily of young males with low education and income levels. Half of the subjects reported frequent condom use, and exchanges involving drugs, sex, and money were infrequent (although more common in groups 1 and 2). The overall seroprevalence was 20.6%, and the prevalence was different across the four groups, showing a linear decrease from group 1 (57.1%) to group 4 (11.7%). The IDU and crack-smoking groups showed similarities in their risk levels when compared with the other two groups, and individuals in group 1, 2, and 3 were more likely to report having had four or more sex partners. After controlling for all other risk factors, IDU, males having sex with males, and crack use were highly associated with HIV (OR 7.30, 95% CI:; OR 3.04, 95%CI: 1.89,4.80; OR 2.03, 95%CI: 1.40, 2.92, respectively). The findings confirm that poverty, low education, and IDU remain risk factors for HIV in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and the study identities crack smoking as a new risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S109-S113
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article is based on studies conducted under NIDA grants R01DAll611 and R01DAl1580, Fogarty grant PA-94-029 FIC-AIDS-FIRCA, and a donation from the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies of the University of Delaware.


  • Developing countries
  • Drug abuse
  • Risk behaviors
  • Seroprevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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