Latent classes of heroin and cocaine users predict unique HIV/HCV risk factors
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 04/25/2012Harrell PT et al.
Subpopulations of cocaine and heroin users differed in demographic classifications, HIV–risk behaviors, and Hepatitis C infection. All subpopulations included substantial numbers of HIV–positive individuals. Findings provide further evidence that non–injection drug users face significant infectious disease risk.
Latent class analysis identified sub-populations of 552 heroin and cocaine users in Baltimore, Maryland.
Using latent class regression, these classes were analyzed for associations with demographic characteristics, risky behaviors, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
Three classes were found: Crack/Nasal-Heroin users (43.5%), Polysubstance users (34.8%), and Heroin Injectors (21.8%).
Compared to Polysubstance users, Crack/Nasal-Heroin users were almost 7 times more likely to identify as Black (OR=6.97, 95% CI=4.35-11.2).
Sharing needles was over 2.5 times more likely among Polysubstance users than among Heroin Injectors (OR=2.66, 95% CI=1.49-4.75).
Crack/Nasal-Heroin users were 2.5 times more likely than Polysubstance users to exchange drugs for sex (OR=2.50, 95% CI=1.22-5.13).
Crack/Nasal-Heroin users were less likely than Heroin Injectors to have Hepatitis C (OR=0.10, 95% CI=0.06-0.18), but no significant differences were found for HIV.
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