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Home > Peer injecting: implications for injecting order and blood-borne viruses among men and women who inject heroin.

McElrath, Karen and Harris, Julie (2013) Peer injecting: implications for injecting order and blood-borne viruses among men and women who inject heroin. Journal of Substance Use , 18 , (1) , pp. 31-45. 10.3109/14659891.2012.716901.

A large body of research has highlighted practices and rituals that characterise injecting drug use and behavioural and environmental risks that can contribute to the transmission of blood-borne viruses. Compared with other injecting practices, considerably less is known about peer injecting, i.e. receiving or giving injections, particularly the social context in which it occurs.

In this article, we explore peer injecting and injecting order at initiation into injecting drug user (IDU) and during subsequent injection episodes. Using data from semi-structured interviews, we highlight the experiences of 41 males and females who had received injections from other IDUs. Respondents were recruited through various strategies, largely chain referral. The results suggest gendered similarities as well as differences in terms of peer injecting, the order of injection and micro-risk contexts for blood-borne viruses.

 

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