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Risk behaviours of young Indo-Chinese injecting drug users in Sydney and Melbourne


Maher, L and Sargent, P and Higgs, P and Crofts, N and Kelsall, J and Le, TT, Risk behaviours of young Indo-Chinese injecting drug users in Sydney and Melbourne, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 25, (1) pp. 50-54. ISSN 1326-0200 (2001) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2001 Public Health Association of Australia

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1467-842X.2001.tb00550.x


Objective: To investigate patterns of drug use and injection-related risk behaviours among young Indo-Chinese injecting drug users (IDUs).

Method: Cross-sectional survey. A structured questionnaire was administered to 184 Indo-Chinese IDUs aged 15 to 24 in Sydney and Melbourne. Participants were recruited using snowball sampling techniques; measures included patterns of heroin and other drug use, injection-related risk behaviours, perceived susceptibility to HIV and HCV infection and access to services.

Results: Despite perceived high availability of sterile injecting equipment, 36% had ever shared a needle and syringe and 22% had done so in the preceding month. Lifetime sharing was significantly associated with duration of injecting, history of incarceration and residence in Sydney. Sharing of injecting paraphernalia other than needles and syringes was also common, with young women and Sydney residents significantly more likely to report sharing equipment in the preceding month.

Conclusions: Young Indo-Chinese IDUs are at high risk of infection with hepatitis C and other blood-borne viruses. Results indicate an urgent need for culturally appropriate and sustainable risk reduction programs which specifically target this population.

Implications: Health services must respond swiftly to implement effective blood-borne virus prevention programs for young Indo-Chinese IDUs. Failure to do so may sustain the current epidemic of hepatitis C among IDUs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:hepatitis C, HIV, risk behaviours, injecting drug users
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sargent, P (Dr Penny Allen)
ID Code:109602
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2016-06-23
Last Modified:2016-08-04

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