• Article

Sexual and injection risk among women who inject methamphetamine in San Francisco

Methamphetamine (MA) use is on the rise in the United States, with many cities reporting increases of 100% or more in MA-related Emergency Department (ED) mentions. Women are keeping pace with this trend: in 2003, 40% of ED mentions and 45% of MA-related treatment admissions were female. Although there have been extensive examinations of MA use and HIV/STI risk among gay men in recent years, literature regarding female MA users is scarce. This paper examines female methamphetamine injectors in San Francisco, CA, from 2003-2005. We assessed sexual and injection related risk behaviors, comparing female MA injectors to female injectors of other drugs. We also examined whether MA use was independently associated with specific sexual and injection risk behaviors. We found that female MA injectors were significantly more likely than non-MA injectors to report unprotected anal intercourse, multiple sexual partners, receptive syringe sharing and sharing of syringes with more than one person in the past six months. In multivariate analysis, MA use among female injectors was significantly associated with anal sex, more than five sexual partners, receptive syringe sharing, and more than one syringe-sharing partner in the past six months. Deeper exploration of the relationship between MA use and sexual risk among women would benefit HIV/STI prevention efforts. In addition, existing interventions for drug-injecting women may need to be adapted to better meet the risks of female MA injectors


Lorvick, J., Martinez, A., Gee, L., & Kral, A. (2006). Sexual and injection risk among women who inject methamphetamine in San Francisco. Journal of Urban Health, 83(3), 497-505. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-006-9039-4