HPTN Bibliographic Record

Shaboltas AV, Toussova OV, Hoffman IF, Heimer R, Verevochkin SV, Ryder RW, Khoshnood K, Perdue T, Masse BR, Kozlov AP. HIV prevalence, sociodemographic, and behavioral correlates and recruitment methods among injection drug users in St. Petersburg, Russia. JAIDS. 2006, 41: 657-63 PMID: 16652041.
OBJECTIVE: In St. Petersburg, Russia, we sought to describe the characteristics of active high-risk injection drug users (IDUs) to evaluate the associations between behavioral and demographic characteristics and HIV-1 infection and to describe 3 discrete recruitment methods. METHODS: Active high-risk IDUs were recruited in 3 ways: through street outreach, at facilities serving IDUs, and by network-based chain referral. Recruits were screened, counseled, and tested for HIV-1. Sociodemographic and behavioral data were collected. HIV-1 prevalence was analyzed as a function of sociodemographic and behavioral variables. RESULTS: During the 10-month recruitment period, data from 900 participants were collected: median age was 24 years, and in the previous month, 96% used heroin and 75% shared needles with others. The baseline HIV prevalence was 30% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 27 to 33). Recruitment through social networks was the most productive strategy. HIV-positive individuals were younger, but none of the other sociodemographic or behavioral characteristics differed significantly by HIV status. CONCLUSIONS: The estimated HIV prevalence of 30% places St. Petersburg among the worst IDU-concentrated epidemics in Europe. Recruitment through network-based chain referral is a useful method for recruiting active IDUs. Sociodemographic and behavioral links to prevalent HIV infection remain to be elucidated.