OBJECTIVES: We compared injection-related HIV risk behaviors of Puerto Rican current injection drug users (IDUs) living in New York City and in Puerto Rico who also had injected in the other location with those who had not. METHODS: We recruited Puerto Rican IDUs in New York City (n = 561) and in Puerto Rico (n = 312). Of the former, 39% were “newcomers,” having previously injected in Puerto Rico; of the latter, 14% were “returnees,” having previously injected in New York. We compared risk behaviors within each sample between those with and without experience injecting in the other location. RESULTS: Newcomers reported higher levels of risk behaviors than other New York IDUs. Newcomer status (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.62) and homelessness (adjusted OR = 2.52) were significant predictors of “shooting gallery” use; newcomer status also predicted paraphernalia sharing (adjusted OR = 1.67). Returnee status was not related to these variables. CONCLUSIONS: Intervention services are needed that target mobile populations who are coming from an environment of high-risk behavior to one of low-risk behavior.
Migration and HIV risk behaviors: Puerto Rican drug injectors in New York City and Puerto Rico