Opioid Use and HIV/HCV Risk Among Immigrant Youth from the Former Soviet Union
Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Project dates: July 2013 - June 2016
Principal Investigator: Guarino, Honoria

Recent evidence suggests that opioid misuse (heroin and prescription opioids) and injection drug use (IDU) occur at high rates among youth within Former Soviet Union (FSU) communities in the U.S. These youth may also be at heightened risk for HIV/HCV infection due to high-risk environments both in their original countries and in their new communities in the US. In addition, cultural factors such as fear of stigma and discomfort with drug treatment models may be barriers to these youths’ use of drug treatment and disease prevention services. This study focused on these youth and document their sex- and drug-related risk behaviors and drug use patterns, and explore the potential influence of immigration and acculturation on drug use and disease risk. The knowledge gained will provide an evidence base to inform the development of culturally-targeted drug treatment approaches, as well as a culturally-appropriate HIV/HCV prevention intervention for opioid-using FSU youth.

Abstract on NIH RePORTER