Intravenous Drug Use and HIV Infection in Miami

John Page, Dale D. Chitwood, Prince C. Smith, Normie Kane, Duane C. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


In this article we report the results of a study of needle‐using behaviors in a street‐recruited, noninstitutionalized sample of intravenous drug users (IVDUs) in Miami‐Dade County. Survey data, elicited from 230 IVDUs, indicate a statistically significant relationship between injection frequency and antibody seropositivity for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Self‐reported needle‐sharing behavior and use of safe houses (i.e., shooting galleries) are also related to infection. Observational data, gathered using ethnographic techniques, identify standard cleaning practices, drug sharing between syringes, and accidental punctures as additional risks of HIV infection for IVDUs. In‐depth interview data on values associated with needle use indicate that interventions focused on needle cleaning can be effective in this population. 1990 American Anthropological Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-71
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Anthropology


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