Needle sharing among southern Thai drug injectors
To examine factors associated with needle sharing among injecting drug users (IDU) in southern Thailand. Design
Using a cross-sectional survey, 272 active IDU were interviewed about their socio-economic background, needle sharing and drug use patterns at six drug-treatment clinics in southern Thailand. Findings
Ninety-one per cent of IDU gave a past history of ever sharing injecting equipment: of these, 23% currently injected but did not share and 68% still shared. Only 5% of participants knew that bleaching needles could reduce HIV transmission risks. Recent needle sharing was correlated with number of IDU friends (OR 12.23; CI, 5.24–28.51), engaging in illegal jobs (OR 2.74; CI, 1.13–6.67), being unable to use new needles at all times (OR 2.89; CI, 1.17–7.14) and believing that cleaning contaminated shared needles with at least plain water could reduce HIV transmission (OR 3.32; CI, 1.16–6.68). Conclusions
Our data suggest that AIDS prevention efforts should focus on approaches to reduce needle sharing. Needle exchange programs, HIV counseling and testing and bleach distribution may reduce levels of needle-sharing risks.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2003