National income inequality and declining GDP growth rates are associated with increases in HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs in Europe: A panel data analysis
AuthorNikolopoulos, Georgios K.
Suk, J. E.
Semenza, J. C.
Friedman, Samuel R.
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Background: There is sparse evidence that demonstrates the association between macro-environmental processes and drug-related HIV epidemics. The present study explores the relationship between economic, socio-economic, policy and structural indicators, and increases in reported HIV infections among people who inject drugs (PWID) in the European Economic Area (EEA). Methods: We used panel data (2003-2012) for 30 EEA countries. Statistical analyses included logistic regression models. The dependent variable was taking value 1 if there was an outbreak (significant increase in the national rate of HIV diagnoses in PWID) and 0 otherwise. Explanatory variables included the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the share of the population that is at risk for poverty, the unemployment rate, the Eurostat S80/S20 ratio, the Gini coefficient, the per capita government expenditure on health and social protection, and variables on drug control policy and drug-using population sizes. Lags of one to three years were investigated. © 2015 Nikolopoulos et al.