Acculturation and risky injection practices among Hispanic injectors
Ethnic and gender-based correlates of safer needle use among 528 out-of-treatment drug injectors in San Antonio, Texas, were studied. The sample was 67% male, 75% Hispanic, 11% non-Hispanic white, and 14% African–American. Forty-seven percent of Hispanics were classified as high-acculturation, and 53% were classified as low-acculturation. HIV seroprevalence was 1.7%. Safer needle use was defined as never sharing syringes that had not been disinfected with bleach. Variables associated with safer needle use in bivariate analyses were entered into a multiple logistic regression analysis. Independent predictors of safer needle use included being African–American, a high-acculturation Hispanic, and female. Greater perceived AIDS risk; frequent cocaine injection; and sharing cookers, cottons, and water were all negatively associated with safer needle use. Among men, low-acculturation Hispanics were significantly more risky than the other groups, but there was no association between ethnicity and safer needle use among women.