Prevalence and determinants of unprotected sex in intimate partnerships of men who inject drugs: findings from a prospective intervention study

Vartika Sharma, Waimar Tun, Avina Sarna, Lopamudra R. Saraswati, Minh D. Pham, Ibou Thior, Stanley Luchters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Unprotected sex, common among people who inject drugs, puts them and their partners at risk of sexually transmitted infections including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This analysis assesses the changes in sexual risk behavior with regular female partners (RFPs), among married men who inject drugs, before and after implementation of a HIV prevention intervention, and identifies correlates of unprotected sex. People who inject drugs (PWID) were assessed at three points: baseline, preintervention follow-up visit (FV)1, and postintervention FV2. Descriptive analysis was used for reporting changes in sexual behavior over time. Generalized estimating equation assessed the population-averaged change in self-reported unprotected sex with an RFP, attributable to intervention uptake. Multivariable logistic regression determined correlates of self-reported unprotected sex with an RFP at FV2. Findings suggest that the proportion of men reporting any unprotected sex remained high (baseline = 46.0%, FV1 = 43.5%, FV2 = 37.0%). A reduction was observed in unprotected sex after the intervention phase, but this could not be attributed to uptake of the intervention. Higher odds of self-reported unprotected sex with an RFP in the past three months at FV2 were associated with self-reported unprotected sex at baseline, living with family, and being HIV-negative. Married male PWID should receive counseling for safe sex with RFPs, especially those who are HIV-negative and live with their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-395
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • high-risk behavior
  • HIV
  • Indian subcontinent
  • men
  • sexual behavior

Cite this