Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) take on significant risks of contracting blood-borne infection, including injecting with a large number of partners and acquiring needles from unsafe sources. When combined, risk of infection can be magnified. Methods: Using a sample of PWID in rural Puerto Rico, we model the relationship between a subject's number of injection partners and the likelihood of having used an unsafe source of injection syringes. Data collection with 315 current injectors identified six sources of needles. Results: Of the six possible sources, only acquisition from a seller (paid or free), or using syringes found on the street, was significantly related to number of partners. Conclusions: These results suggest that sources of syringes do serve to multiply risk of infection caused by multi-partner injection concurrency. They also suggest that prior research on distinct forms of social capital among PWID may need to be rethought.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health