OBJECTIVES: We examined HIV prevalence and risk factors among injection drug users (IDUs) in Athens, Greece, during an HIV outbreak.
METHODS: We used respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to recruit 1404 IDUs to the Aristotle intervention in August to October 2012. We interviewed participants and tested for HIV. We performed bivariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: Estimated HIV prevalence was 19.8% (RDS-weighted prevalence = 14.8%). Odds of infection were 2.3 times as high in homeless as in housed IDUs and 2.1 times as high among IDUs who injected at least once per day as among less frequent injectors (both, P < .001). Six percent of men and 23.5% of women reported transactional sex in the past 12 months, and condom use was low. Intercourse with non-IDUs was common (53.2% of men, 25.6% of women). Among IDUs who had been injecting for 2 years or less the estimated incidence rate was 23.4 new HIV cases per 100 person-years at risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to reduce HIV transmission should address homelessness as well as scaling up prevention services, such as needle and syringe distribution and other risk reduction interventions.
Homelessness and other risk factors for HIV infection in the current outbreak among injection drug users in Athens, Greece
American Journal of Public Health, 105 (1), 196-204. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301656. PMCID: PMC4145040.