Strong HIV and hepatitis disclosure norms and frequent risk behaviors among Hungarian drug injectors

V. Anna Gyarmathy, Alan Neaigus, Eszter Ujhelyi, Tímea Szabó, József Rácz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnographic interviews and focus groups were conducted between May 2003 and January 2004 among injection drug users (IDUs; n=29) in Budapest, Hungary, to assess knowledge related to HIV, hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV) and norms, attitudes, and behaviors. Participants perceived themselves at low risk for infection with HIV but at high risk for hepatitis through injection but not sexual exposure. They reported strong disclosure norms for HIV and hepatitis infections, while sexual and injection risk behaviors were influenced by trust about partners' self-report of infection status. Injection networks were small, with infrequent syringe sharing among a few close friends. Cookers and drug filters often were shared, and filters were reused as a backup drug supply. Most sexual relationships were monogamous, and condoms were used rarely. Although participant norms supported HIV/HBV/HCV testing, the lack of available behaviors with injection and sex partners who are close friends. Network interventions among IDUs in Hungary should build on disclosure norms and trust to reduce injection and sex risk. Testing services should be expanded and access increased so that IDUs can act on and reinforce their norms for testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S65-S69
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Disclosure of infection status
  • HIV and hepatitis infection
  • Injection drug users (IDUs)
  • Risk behaviors
  • Risk networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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