Sex practices and knowledge about hiv/aids among drug users in a low-income urban community of Costa Rica

Manuel Chacón, Kenia Barrantes, Rosario Achí, Mary Comerfold, Clyde B McCoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


HIV/AIDS transmission among drug users is associated with education, sex practices and substance use. This study examined 159 drugs users' knowledge, beliefs and sex behavior related to HIV/AIDS risk in Costa Rica. Results showed considerable use of marihuana, alcohol, crack and cocaine and a very low lifetime incidence of other drugs. All substance use patterns were higher than national averages. Respondents showed a high level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention. However, there did not seem to be a relationship between knowledge and practice. Unprotected sex was common and having an HIV/AIDS test was not a regular practice. Knowledge about HIV/AIDS is not a determinant factor for condom use among this group. It is concluded that having the proper knowledge about transmission and prevention does not guarantee safe sex practices. Further research and public health evidence based practices for HIV/AIDS prevention should target drug user population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalSalud y Drogas
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Central America
  • Costa Rica
  • Drug use
  • Sexual practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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