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
Guarino H, Mateu-Gelabert P, Quinn K, Sirikantraporn S, Ruggles KV, Syckes C, Goodbody E, Jessell L, Friedman SR (2021).
Adverse childhood experiences predict early initiation of opioid use behaviors
Frontiers in Sociology, 6, 620395. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2021.620395. PMCID: PMC8158934.

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.