This study examined the HIV risk profiles of White, African-American, and Latina women enrolled in the UCLA Enhanced Methadone Maintenance Project, a NIDA-funded research demonstration project with the goal of reducing risk of HIV infection and/or transmission. Each group demonstrated distinct patterns associated with family relationships, sources of income, sexual and injection behaviors, and self-perceptions, although they were similar in their employment, drug use, mental health, and criminal behavior histories. In general, Latinas were more likely to report familial influences and to display evidence of low self-esteem and self-efficacy, inconsistent condom use, and high-risk injection behavior. White women reported the highest levels of regular condom use at follow-up; however, they were the least likely to report safer injection practices. African-American women expressed the highest levels self-esteem, yet they reported more alcohol use at intake and crack cocaine use both before and after treatment entry. They showed the greatest gains in adopting safer injection practices and were the least likely to report multiple sex partners after treatment entry. These findings can be used to improve the potential of methadone maintenance treatment for HIV risk reduction for women and to aid in developing culturally sensitive treatment protocols.
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