Psychological dysfunction and HIV/AIDS risk behavior.J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1996 Feb 01; 11(2):198-202.JA
The relationship between psychological problems and human immunodeficiency virus HIV/AIDS risk-taking behaviors was examined among 834 daily opioid users entering methadone treatment programs. A composite measure of psychological dysfunction was created using depression, anxiety, and hostility scales. This measure was found to be significantly related to needle risk in terms of injecting with used equipment, sharing of drug paraphernalia, and sharing with strangers. Psychological dysfunction was also related to sexual risk taking in terms of number of partners, unprotected sex with other injection drug users, and trading sex. Use of cocaine was significantly related to all measures of injection and sex-related risk taking; use of speedball (heroin and cocaine) was significantly related to use of dirty equipment and sharing of paraphernalia. The implications of study findings for AIDS prevention programming are discussed.