HIV, HCV and STI Risk Associated with Nonmedical Use of Prescription Opioids
Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Project dates: February 2013 - November 2018
Principal Investigator: Mateu-Gelabert, Pedro

This mixed-methods study assessed the drug and sex-related HIV/HCV/STI risk associated with non-medical use of prescription opioids among young adults. The study characterized drug-use patterns and sexual behaviors of a representative RDS-recruited sample of 600 NMU-POs (18-29 years of age) in the New York City area; determined the proportion of this population that engaged in drug injection and/or heroin use; and identified individual, network and socio-structural factors that may predispose some young non-medical users of prescription opioids to engage in IDU and/or the use of heroin. In addition, key objectives of this research was to systematically document the HIV/HCV/Chlamydia and Gonorrhea risk and preventive behaviors, knowledge, testing practices and prevalence rates of non-medical use of prescription opioids among young adults.

Foundational research that elucidates drug- and sex-related risk behaviors and HIV, HCV and other STI prevalence rates among this growing group of young non-medical users of prescription opioids is necessary for the development of disease prevention messages and interventions tailored to their specific characteristics, needs and drug-use and sexual practices. Furthermore, this research will help identify young opioid users who are likely to transition to heroin use and/or drug injection, enabling interventions designed to prevent or delay these behaviors to be targeted to groups of youth who are most at-risk.

Abstract on NIH RePORTER
Related Publications
Palamar JJ, Le A, Guarino H, Mateu-Gelabert P (2019).
A comparison of the utility of urine- and hair testing in detecting self-reported drug use among young adult opioid users
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 200, 161-167. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.04.008. PMCID: PMC6588496.

Quinn K, Fong C, Guarino H, Mateu-Gelabert P (2019).
Development, validation, and potential applications of the hepatitis C virus injection-risk knowledge scale (HCV-IRKS) among young opioid users in New York City
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 194, 453-459. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.11.010. PMCID: PMC6312493.

Mateu-Gelabert P, Guarino H, Quinn K, Meylakhs P, Campos S, Meylakhs A, Berbesi D, Toro-Tobon D, Goodbody E, Ompad DC, Friedman SR (2018).
Young drug users: A vulnerable population and an underutilized resource in HIV/HCV prevention
Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 15 (4), 324-335. doi: 10.1007/s11904-018-0406-z. PMCID: PMC6309604.

Guarino H, Mateu-Gelabert P, Teubl J, Goodbody E (2018).
Young adults’ opioid use trajectories: From nonmedical prescription opioid use to heroin, drug injection, drug treatment and overdose
Addictive Behaviors, 86, 118-123. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.04.017. PMCID: PMC6377245.

Rajan S, Ruggles KV, Guarino H, Mateu-Gelabert P (2018).
Heroin use and drug injection among youth also misusing prescription drugs
American Journal of Health Behavior, 42 (1), 144-155. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.42.1.14. PMCID: PMC6349244.

Mateu-Gelabert P, Jessell L, Goodbody E, Kim D, Gile K, Teubl J, Syckes C, Ruggles K, Lazar J, Friedman S, Guarino H (2017).
High enhancer, downer, withdrawal helper: Multifunctional nonmedical benzodiazepine use among young adult opioid users in New York City
International Journal of Drug Policy, 46, 17-27. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.016. PMCID: PMC5609816.

Friedman SR, Mateu-Gelabert P, Ruggles KV, Goodbody E, Syckes C, Jessell L, Teubl J, Guarino H (2017).
Sexual risk and transmission behaviors, partnerships and settings among young adult nonmedical opioid users in New York City
AIDS and Behavior, 21 (4), 994-1003. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1672-7. PMCID: PMC5344710.

Jessell L, Mateu-Gelabert P, Guarino H, Vakharia SP, Syckes C, Goodbody, Ruggles KV, Friedman S (2017).
Sexual violence in the context of drug use among young adult opioid users in New York City
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32 (19), 2929-2954. doi: 10.1177/0886260515596334. PMCID: PMC4740284.

Frank D, Mateu-Gelabert P, Guarino H, Bennett A, Wendel T, Jessell L, Teper A (2015).
High risk and little knowledge: Overdose experiences and knowledge among young adult nonmedical prescription opioid users
International Journal of Drug Policy, 26 (1), 84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.07.013. PMCID: PMC4277710.

Mateu-Gelabert P, Guarino H, Jessell L, Teper A (2015).
Injection and sexual HIV/HCV risk behaviors associated with nonmedical use of prescription opioids among young adults in New York City
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 48 (1), 13-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.07.002. PMCID: PMC4250325.