Many people who inject illicit drugs receive manual assistance when injecting, and this practice has been linked to increased risk of HIV infection and other harms. Little is known, however, about this practice among youth.
This study uses a multivariate generalized estimating equation to identify factors associated with receiving assistance with injecting among a cohort of street-involved youth aged 14-26 in Vancouver, Canada.
A total of 253 participants reported injecting drugs during the study period, and 49 % (n = 125) of these youth reported receiving assistance with injecting in the past 6 months. In multivariate analysis, younger age, female gender, binge drug use, heroin injecting, cocaine injecting, crystal methamphetamine injecting, and syringe sharing were positively and independently associated with assisted injection (all p < 0.05).
These findings underscore the need for expanding substance abuse treatment alongside HIV prevention and health promotion interventions to empower youth to enact safer injection practices.
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- 1Urban Health Research Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada.
- 2Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.
- 3Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
- 4Urban Health Research Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada. email@example.com.
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