• Article

Double jeopardy--Drug and sex risks among Russian women who inject drugs: Initial feasibility and efficacy results of a small randomized controlled trial

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: With HIV prevalence estimated at 20% among female injecting drug users (IDUs) in St. Petersburg, Russia, there is a critical need to address the HIV risks of this at-risk population. This study characterized HIV risks associated with injecting drug use and sex behaviors and assessed the initial feasibility and efficacy of an adapted Woman-Focused intervention, the Women's CoOp, relative to a Nutrition control to reduce HIV risk behaviors among female IDUs in an inpatient detoxification drug treatment setting. METHOD: Women (N = 100) were randomized into one of two one-hour long intervention conditions--the Woman-Focused intervention (n = 51) or a time and attention-matched Nutrition control condition (n = 49). RESULTS: The results showed that 57% of the participants had been told that they were HIV-positive. At 3-month follow-up, both groups showed reduced levels of injecting frequency. However, participants in the Woman-Focused intervention reported, on average, a lower frequency of partner impairment at last sex act and a lower average number of unprotected vaginal sex acts with their main sex partner than the Nutrition condition. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that improvements in sexual risk reduction are possible for these at-risk women and that more comprehensive treatment is needed to address HIV and drug risks in this vulnerable population

Citation

Wechsberg, W., Krupitsky, E., Romanova, T., Zvartau, E., Kline, T., Browne, F., ... Jones, H. (2012). Double jeopardy--Drug and sex risks among Russian women who inject drugs: Initial feasibility and efficacy results of a small randomized controlled trial. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 7(1), 1. DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-7-1

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