Almost a quarter (23.9%; N = 152) of the 637 specimens tested positive for HIV. Women (28.5%) were more likely to be HIV positive than males (20.2% – ). Those who were HIV positive at various age levels were consistent with the overall percentage of 23.9% except for those aged 25 or younger (5.6%). Those few (8.5%) in the sample who were not African-American were more likely to be HIV+, especially the 38 Latinos, 42.1% of whom were HIV+.
Demographic factors for 637 respondents with HIV data.
Those who had not earned a GED or graduated from high school were more likely to be HIV+ (28.1%) than those with a GED or who finished high school (20.7%; P < .032). Those widowed (51.9%), separated (35.6%), or divorced (30.8%) had proportionately more HIV+ persons that those who were single (19.0%) or married (18.5%–P < .000). Higher amounts of illegal income, particularly those having $500 to $1,999 in illegal income in the past 30 days, were more likely to be HIV+ (P < .000).
Factors directly involved in HIV transmission
Those who ever injected drugs (P < .000), participated in current multiple partner sex (P < .002), or sex work (P < .000) were proportionally more HIV+ than drug users/sellers who did not do so (). Since only 17 respondents self-reported currently having same sex partners, large percentage differences between sexual minorities and heterosexuals were not statistically significant.
Behaviors related to HIV risk for 637 respondents.
Criminal justice and drug use factors
Users and sellers of crack, powder cocaine, and/or heroin who had been arrested (26.1%), in prison (31.6%), or had quality of life offences in the past year (29.1%), had proportionately higher levels of HIV infections (P < .039, P < .028 and P < .022, respectively – ). Also, those engaging in property crimes, such as stealing (38.7%) and participating in frauds and cons (44.7%), had much higher percentages of HIV+ persons (P < .000). These property crimes were not associated with drug injection or the use of any specific drug (data not shown). Persons engaging in drug selling (29.5%) and helping with drug sales (31.1%) were also significantly more likely to have HIV infections. Although few participated in robbery, it was significantly associated with HIV infection (P < .041). Those who were attacked at least once in the past two years had higher proportions of HIV infection than those not attacked (P < .011). Those who ever used crack, powder cocaine, or heroin were more likely to be HIV+ than those never using these drugs (). The 53.5% of the heroin users who used heroin without injecting it were not statistically associated with increased proportions of HIV infection (data not shown).
Logistic regression analyses
The first logistic regression model included the 20 independent factors statistically associated with HIV infections in chi-square analyses, but only two of these factors resulted in definitely increased odds of HIV infection, having lower bounds greater than one (). Drug injectors were almost three times more likely to be HIV+ (OR = 2.7; P < .002) than non-injecting drug users and sellers of crack, powder cocaine, and heroin. Also, the respondents who were widowed, separated or divorced, compared with single and married respondents, were twice as likely to be HIV+ (OR = 2.03; P < .002). Five additional factors in model 1 had P values less than .15, including being female, not being African-American, currently having multiple sex partners, ever participating in frauds/cons, and ever using crack. These factors, drug injection, and marital status were used in a second logistic regression analysis, and only crack use and race did not yield statistically significant results. In model 2, odds ratios for injection and marital status remained relatively the same as in model 1, but those participating in frauds/cons were 2.5 times more likely to have HIV infection (OR = 2.58; P < .000). Female respondents and respondents currently having multiple sex partners were considerably more likely to have HIV infections (OR = 1.66; P < .02).
Logistic regression of behaviors related to HIV+ status.
Multiple risk factors
To investigate whether those having multiple risk factors increase their likelihood for having HIV infection, the four direct transmission factors (injection, sex work, multiple sex partners, and same sex partners), five crime factors (stealing, frauds/cons, drug dealing, drug sales assistance, and robbery) and three drug use factors (heroin, powder cocaine, and crack) were totalled and used in a chi-square analysis (data not shown). The proportion of those HIV positive increased directly with the number of direct transmission factors (1 factor, 25%; 2, 35.2%; 3, 75% – P < .000). Although over half the sample reported no participation in the five crimes examined, levels of HIV infections increased directly as the number of kinds of crime increased (P < .000). Those who used all of the three focal drugs were more likely to be infected than those using one or two (P < .000). The totalled 12 factors indicated that especially large increases in HIV+ status occurred in three places, between three (14.7% HIV+) and four factors (25.5% HIV+), between five (28.0% HIV+) and six factors (37.3% HIV+), and between eight (42.3% HIV+) and nine factors (75% HIV+).