Determinants of HIV Risk and Protective Needle-Sharing Behaviors Among Drug Injectors


  • Note. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA 010162), United States Department of Health and Human Services, A.L. Estrada served as the Principal Investigator. All data used in the manuscript were collected with approval of the use of human subjects by the University of Arizona's Internal Review Board.

Scott C. Carvajal, Division of Health Promotion Sciences, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, 1295 N. Martin Avenue, Drachman Hall A254, Tucson, AZ 85724., USA. E-mail:


Few studies have tested a broad range of theory-based determinants of injection-related risk and protective behaviors. The current study hypothesize relationships among attitudinal beliefs, normative influences, perceived self-efficacy, intentions, and performing these behaviors consistent with the theory of planned behavior and related models. The conceptual model was tested in a cross-sectional sample of 895 drug injectors recruited from street settings in the southwestern United States and who completed a face-to-face interview. Structural equation modeling results showed intention and self-efficacy most consistently predicted needle sharing and bleaching considering all other model variables. Discussion focuses on the value of using these theoretical concepts to examine needle sharing and other behaviors among injection drug users and their relevance for developing HIV-reduction interventions.