HIV knowledge, beliefs and sexual behavior of male heterosexual drug users and non-drug users attending an HIV testing clinic in Israel

Varda Soskolne, Shlomo Maayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of the study was to compare HIV-related knowledge, beliefs in self-control and sexual behavior of non-drug using and drug using heterosexual men. All individuals attending an HIV testing site during a two-month period were asked to complete a questionnaire anonymously. Data for 49 drug users (DU), most of them non-injectors, were compared to that of 94 non-drug using (non-DU) men with similar education levels (high school or less). Sexual behavior items refer to previous six months. Findings: HIV-related knowledge was reported correctly by the majority of men in both groups, but the DU showed significantly more misconceptions (p<0.01). Consistent but statistically insignificant lower levels of self-control were reported by the DU. Type of sexual relations and the number of regular sexual partners were not different between the groups: 55% of the DU and 67% of the non-DU were not monogamous. DU had either none or many casual partners (three or more), significantly different from the non-DU. The proportion of DU who never used condoms (65%) was higher as compared to non-DU men (43%,p<0.05). However, when controlling for type of partnership, this difference was sustained only among monogamous men (82% of DU vs. 42% of non-DU never used condoms, p<0.05). Condom use was significantly associated with age, HIV knowledge and sexual partnership in the DU. The greater deficiencies in HIV-related knowledge, and the prevalence of risk behaviors among DU require intensive individual and group counselling, specifically adapted for the needs and the culture of drug users in Israel and incorporated with social-influence-orientated change processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-317
Number of pages11
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Volume35
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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