Risk indicators associated with injection drug use in the Aboriginal population

Risk indicators associated with injection drug use in the Aboriginal population

In 2009, the incidence of positive HIV tests in the Saskatoon Health Region, Canada, was 31.3 per 100,000 population when the national average was only 9.3 per 100,000 population. A majority of the positive HIV tests were of Aboriginal cultural status with a majority of those associated with injection drug use (IDU). The main objective of the study was to determine the risk indicators independently associated with higher rates of IDU in the Aboriginal population in comparison to other cultural groups. It appears that there is no another study with a similar analysis. From September 2009 to April 2010, 603 current IDUs were interviewed; which represents 76.6% of the known Saskatoon IDUs. In our study population, 88.1% of the current IDUs were of Aboriginal cultural status despite making up only 9.2% of the general population. Comparing Aboriginal IDUs to non-Aboriginal IDUs, our study found that Aboriginal injection users were more likely to be female and younger, less likely to receive paid income and were more likely to attend a Residential School or had a parent or grandparent attend a Residential School. If exposure to Residential Schools is ignored, Aboriginal IDUs were also more likely to use sex trading as a source of income and witness death or experience permanent separation from a parent during youth. Our study has identified a limited number of risk indicators independently associated with higher rates of IDU in the Aboriginal population. More specifically, Residential Schools are having a significant generational impact on current IDU, which might explain higher HIV incidence rates within the Aboriginal population.

JOURNAL: AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
PAGES: 1-9
PUBLICATION DATE: 2012
LOCATION: Canada