Real and perceived HIV risk by population density: An exploratory examination

Carl G. Leukefeld, David Farabee, Melissia McDermeit, Michael L. Dennis, Wendee M. Wechsberg, James A. Inciardi, Hilary L. Surratt, Wilson M. Compton, Linda B. Cottler, Hugh Klein, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, David Desmond, T. K. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Little is known about HIV and its primary routes of transmission in less populated areas. The purpose of this exploratory study was to contrast the real and perceived HIV risk among out-of-treatment drug users in a multi-site sample of low-, medium-, and high-population density counties in six states and Washington, D.C. Drug users in medium density areas "perceived" their risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS as lower than those in the high-density areas. A multivariate logistic regression model found that the perceived risk could be predicted primarily as a function of lifetime HIV, lifetime STDs, needle use, having multiple sexual partners, and community population density. Because of different risk patterns and a "false" sense of risk, it is important to expand HIV risk reduction activities to include less populated areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-904
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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