In the process of preparing jointly purchased drugs, injection drug users (IDUs) may share drug preparation materials and use a single syringe to distribute injectable drugs. The aim of this study was to examine the association of joint drug purchasing with drug preparation risk behaviors among Puerto Rican IDUs. The study sample comprised 555 IDUs from New York City and 297 from Puerto Rico. IDUs reported pooling money for 12% of the injection episodes in New York, and for 14% of the injection episodes in Puerto Rico. In both study sites, all correlation coefficients between frequency of pooling money and drug preparation behaviors were .30 or larger. After controlling for sociodemographics, drugs injected, and injection frequency, pooling money was significantly associated to all four drug preparation behaviors in both study sites. HIV prevention interventions need to be cognizant of the joint purchasing of drugs and its relationship to drug preparation risk behaviors.
Joint drug purchases and drug preparation risk behaviors among injection drug users