Sexual and drug use behaviors among women
crack users: implications for prevention

Logan TK, Leukefeld C, Farabee D
Center on Drug and Alcohol Research,
University of Kentucky,
Lexington 40504, USA.
AIDS Educ Prev 1998 Aug; 10(4):327-40


The literature suggests that important and contributing factors in the rise of HIV and AIDS among women are crack use and the exchange of sex for drugs or money. However, not all women who use crack report they are exchanging sex for drugs or money. Thus, women are at differential risk for HIV and AIDS. The purpose of this study is to compare and describe women crack users (n = 292) who reported exchanging sex for drugs and money with women crack users who did not report exchanging sex. Results indicated that both women crack users who exchanged sex (n = 162) and women crack users who did not exchange sex (n = 130) were likely to be African American, to be about the same age, to have had incomes below +500 during the previous month, to have had similar education and martial backgrounds, to have had unprotected sexual intercourse as often, to have had similar drug use patterns, and to have initiated drug use at similar ages. However, women who exchanged sex had more sexual partners, had unprotected oral sex more often, used drugs before and during sex more often, and had a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases than women who did not exchange sex. In addition, women who exchanged sex were also twice as likely to be homeless, four times more likely to have been in treatment, and twice as likely to have been arrested and charged/booked two or more times in their lifetime than women who did not exchange sex.

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