Depression severity and drug injection HIV risk behaviors

  • Stein M
  • Solomon D
  • Herman D
 et al. 
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Objective: This study examined the association of depression severity
and drug injection HIV risk behavior among injection drug users.
Method: injection drug users who met the DSM-IV criteria for major
depressive disorder, dysthymia, or substance-induced mood disorder
lasting at least 3 months were asked how often they used ``needles or
syringes that someone else had used{''} (injection risk behavior) in the
past 90 days. Depression severity was measured by using the Modified
Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.
Results: Of the 109 subjects, 63% were male, 82% were Caucasian, and
10% were HIV positive. The subjects' mean modified Hamilton depression
scale score was 21.0 (SD=3.9). The mean number of reported instances of
injection risk behavior (needle sharing) in the past 90 days was 57.5
(SD=134.7). In a logistic regression analysis in which the effects of
age, race, gender, number of days on which injection drugs were used
(injection days), and average number of injections per injection day
were controlled, depression severity was associated with injection risk
(odds ratio=1.5; 95% confidence interval=1.1-2.3).
Conclusions: Greater severity of depression is associated with greater
frequency of injection risk behavior among depressed injection drug
users. Risk reduction programs that target depressed injection drug
users need to be designed.

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  • M D Stein

  • D A Solomon

  • D S Herman

  • B J Anderson

  • I Miller

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