Table of Contents
Volume 2013, Article ID 976035, 17 pages
Review Article

The Age of Initiation of Drug Use and Sexual Behavior May Influence Subsequent HIV Risk Behavior: A Systematic Review

University of Connecticut, Department of Allied Health Sciences, 358 Mansfield Road, Unit 2101, Storrs, CT 06269-2101, USA

Received 10 September 2013; Accepted 8 October 2013

Academic Editors: D. Aunis, H. C. Mwandumba, and J. Poudrier

Copyright © 2013 Patrick Baldwin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Researchers examining injection drug users (IDUs) in drug treatment have been trying for decades to determine the optimal way to intervene to prevent the transmission and spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in this population. Although efficacious HIV risk reduction interventions are widely available, questions remain about what specific factors are most related to HIV risk behavior and defined as unprotected sexual activity and/or high risk drug use. This review involved an evaluation of the research literature in order to better understand the association between drug use and sexual behavior debut on HIV risk behavior. Findings suggest that drug use debut and sexual behavior debut may be related to subsequent HIV risk behavior. Evidence to date implies that intervening at an earlier age to assist youth to avoid or delay these high risk behaviors may be an additional means of reducing subsequent HIV risk.