Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) are at risk of injection site infections and injuries. The factors associated with recent symptoms of these problems are examined. Method: PWID recruited using respondent driven sampling, underwent a computer-assisted interview and provided a dried-blood spot sample. Weight data were examined using logistic regression. Results: The mean age of the 855 participants was 32 years, and 25% were women. During the preceding 28 days, 94% had injected heroin and 50% crack-cocaine; with 41% injecting into their arms and 47% their groin. The passing on of used needles/syringes was reported by 9.7% and receiving by 8.0%. During the preceding 28 days, 21% reported having redness, swelling and tenderness, 6.1% an abscess, and 5.2% a sore/open wound at an injection site; with a quarter (24%) reporting one or more of these. A range of factors were associated with these symptoms; all three symptoms were associated with more frequent injection and the use of multiple injection sites; two of the symptoms were also associated with having recently overdosed and the use of particular injection sites. Conclusions: Injection site infections and injuries are common among PWID and targeted interventions are needed to reduce risk.
- Injection site infections and injuries
- People who inject drugs