Trends in human immunodeficiency virus incidence and risk behavior among injection drug users in Montreal, Canada: A 16-year longitudinal study

Julie Bruneau, Mark DANIEL, Michal Abrahamowicz, Geng Zang, François Lamothe, Jean Vincelette

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The authors sought to investigate trends in the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, evaluate changes in risk behavior, and assess associations between syringe access programs and HIV seroconversion among injection drug users (IDUs) in Montreal, Canada, who were recruited and followed for a prospective cohort study between 1992 and 2008. Methods included Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and time-varying Cox regression models. Of 2,137 HIV-seronegative IDUs at enrollment, 148 became HIV-positive within 4 years (incidence: 3.3 cases/100 person-years; 95% confidence interval: 2.8, 3.9). An annual HIV incidence decline of 0.06 cases/100 person-years prior to 2000 was followed by a more rapid annual decline of 0.24 cases/100 person-years during and after 2000. Behavioral trends included increasing cocaine and heroin use and decreasing proportions of IDUs reporting any syringe-sharing or sharing a syringe with an HIV-positive person. In multivariate analyses, HIV seroconversion was associated with male gender, unstable housing, intravenous cocaine use, and sharing syringes or having sex with an HIV-positive partner. Always acquiring syringes from safe sources conferred a reduced risk of HIV acquisition among participants recruited after 2004, but this association was not statistically significant for participants recruited earlier. In conclusion, HIV incidence has declined in this cohort, with an acceleration of the reduction in HIV transmission after 2000.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1058
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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