Risk behavior and HIV seroincidence among out-of-treatment injection drug users: A four-year prospective study

W. Wayne Wiebel*, Antonio Jimenez, Wendell Johnson, Lawrence Ouellet, Borko Jovanovic, Thomas Lampinen, James Murray, Mary Utne O'Brien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


We monitored trends in HIV risk behaviors and seroconversion among out- of-treatment injection drug users (IDUs) receiving street-based outreach intervention. Beginning in 1988. 641 HIV-seronegative IDUs were recruited by targeted sampling methods to reflect broader IDU populations and were followed for 4 years (1988-1992). All were active injectors not in treatment when recruited. Cohort members were targets of HIV-prevention outreach. The intervention was guided by the Indigenous Leader Outreach Model: Exaddicts deliver HIV-prevention services targeting IDU social networks in community settings. Primary outcome measures were HIV seroconversion and HIV risk behaviors. Observed incidence of HIV infection decreased, from 8.4 to 2.4 per 100 person-years. Prevalence of drug risk behaviors also decreased, from 100 to 14%. Seroconversion was associated with injection risk behavior [risk ratio (RR) = 9.8]. Sex risk behavior also decreased, but less dramatically, from 71 to 45%. Out-of-treatment IDUs in Chicago have reduced their rates of new HIV infection by reducing their injection risk behavior. New infections were strongly associated with injection risk behavior but not with sex risk behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-289
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Incidence
  • Injection drug users
  • Prevention
  • Risk behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology

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