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Abstract



Police brutality is independently associated with sharing injection equipment among injection drug users in Odessa, Ukraine

R. Booth1, S. Dvoryak2, C. Anderson3, B. John4, S. Strathdee3

Background: Ukraine is the most HIV-affected country in Europe and Central Asia, with an estimated 1.63% of the adult population infected. The majority of HIV infections are among injection drug users (IDUs). Previously conducted focus groups with IDUs in Odessa suggested that policing practices may fuel risky injection practices. Here, using quantitative methods, we studied factors associated with sharing injection equipment among Odessa IDUs.
Methods: From 2004-2007, IDUs were recruited through street outreach and underwent HIV testing and interviews using ACASI. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with sharing injection equipment in the last month (i.e., needles/syringes, drawing drugs from common containers).
Results: Of 600 IDUs, 19.7% reported sharing injection equipment in the last month. IDUs reporting sharing injection equipment were more likely to report ever being beaten by police and then released (47.9% vs. 18.1%, p< 0.001). After controlling for injection frequency, factors independently associated with sharing injection equipment included: ever being beaten by police (AdjOR: 3.61; p< 0.001); injecting stimulants (AdjOR:4.40; p< 0.001); injecting sedatives (AdjOR: 3.56; p=0.01); being homeless (AdjOR:3.30; p=0.008), and having sex with another IDU in the last month (AdjOR:1.71; p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Police brutality, specifically being beaten by the police and released without arrest, was common among IDUs in Odessa and was independently associated with sharing injection equipment. In addition to scaling up needle exchange programs, drug treatment and providing affordable housing, eliminating human rights violations committed by police could favourably impact the local HIV epidemic.





AIDS 2010 - XVIII International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. THPDD104


Suggested Citation
"R.Booth, et al. Police brutality is independently associated with sharing injection equipment among injection drug users in Odessa, Ukraine. : AIDS 2010 - XVIII International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. THPDD104 "