Selected initial findings from the VENUS Study:
- HIV+ IDUs qualitatively reported increased drug use, isolation, depression, and risk behavior when first diagnosed HIV+.
- HIV+ IDUs described participation in formal and informal peer education and support to other HIV+ drug users.
- Half of the participants who had a main sex partner reported that partner’s status as HIV- or HIV unknown.
- Unlike HIV+ MSM, HIV+ IDUs do not seem to significantly decrease their sexual risk taking behaviors with HIV negative/unknown status partners when compared to HIV+ partners.
- Sexual risk was driven by a need to preserve intimacy in relationships, power dynamics within the drug-sex economy, and lack of skills toward HIV disclosure.
- Almost all IDUs in this sample reported access to and utilization of HIV care, but many verbalized difficult barriers to consistent utilization and medication taking.
- Women were less likely than others to be taking HAART when indicated by self-reported Viral Load or CD4 cell count.
Please see the slide presentation from Kelly Knight at the Second Annual CAPS Conference: Addressing HIV Prevention in Context.
Last modified: January 20, 2011