The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
YW, HZ and BC participated in the design of the study, participated in data collection, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. YZ, RG and SD participated in data collection, performed the statistical analysis, and revised the manuscript. ZZ and HC participated in data collection and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Unsafe injection practices significantly increase the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among injection drug users (IDUs). Little is known about how demographic characteristics of IDUs are linked to HIV-related risk behaviors in the central regions of China.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted at Mandatory Detoxification Centers (MDCs) and the community in Maanshan, China.
Of the 916 IDUs, 96.4 % reported a history of heroin use during the past year, 93.4 % had HIV/AIDS knowledge, 16.8 % reported receptive syringe sharing and 12.2 % reported inconsistent condom use in commercial sex in the past year. Unsafe injection practice was associated with increased odds of minority ethnicity, lower level of education, and no peer education in the past year. Unsafe sex practice was associated with increased odds of being single, 18–30 years of age, non-local residence, and history of methamphetamine use in the past year.
Integrated interventions to promote safe injection and protected commercial sex practices targeting IDUs must also consider individual and socio-environmental factors.