#PO10: Network Correlates Of Using A Syringe After An Injection Partner Among Women Who Inject Drugs In Philadelphia, PA

Author: Susanna Rhodes Susanna Rhodes

Theme: Epidemiology and Public Health Research Year: 2021

Background: Previous research suggests that women who inject drugs (WWID) are more likely to use a syringe after an intimate injection partner than their male peers. This analysis aims to identify relationship-level correlates of injecting with a syringe previously used by an injection partner among WWID in Philadelphia, PA. Methods: Between 9/2/20 and 11/23/20, 64 women who injected daily were recruited from Prevention Point Philadelphia’s syringe exchange. Interviewer-administered surveys collected women’s demographic characteristics, drug use behaviors, HIV/HCV status, and information about each of her injection partners in the past 6 months (i.e., sociodemographics, perceived HIV/HCV status, and relationship-level characteristics, including receipt of social support, whether they were a sex partner, and injection practices between the two). Using log-binomial regression, which accounted for clustering of network members within participants (122 relationships; 64 women), we identified relationship-level correlates of injection partnerships where women reported using a syringe after their partner in the past 6 months. Results: Overall, women listed an average of 1.9 injection partners and reported injecting with a syringe previously used by 26 (21.31%) of injection partners. Prior to adjustment, women were significantly more likely to use a syringe after sex partners (Prevalence Ratio [PR]:3.52; 95% CI:1.94-6.38), those they injected with daily (PR:3.82; 95% CI:1.7, 8..57) and those who provided emotional support (PR:8.82; 95% CI:3.40-22.87). In the adjusted model, women were more likely to use a syringe after injection partners who provided emotional support. (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio [APR]:6.25; 95% CI: 2.15-18.15) and less likely to use a syringe after a network member if they had a higher number of injection partners (APR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.44, 0.89). Conclusion: In addition to focusing harm reduction efforts on women’s individual-level risk behaviors, future efforts could also focus on helping women negotiate safer injection practices with persons they have a close relationship with.

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