to make use of the newly developed bleach distribution technology. All were to rely on the skills of ex-addict staff trained to conduct case finding and engagement and to provide AIDS prevention materials and counseling. NADR came to involve a total of 41 projects in nearly 50 cities nationwide. Over the life of the program, data were collected on more than 43,000 injection drug users and nearly 10,000 sexual partners, although many more tens of thousands of participants received outreach and intervention services (AIDS prevention services) but were not referred for study (Brown and Beschner, 1993).
The demographic characteristics of NADR program participants vary considerably across participating program sites. Data from 13,475 participants in the 28 sites that contributed demographic data for the final data analysis indicate that the average age of participants is 35. On average, participants had been injecting drugs for 14 years (ranging from 10 to 19 years across sites). NADR recruited predominantly men: 74 percent of the sample at intake were men. The proportion of women by site ranges from 12 to 37 percent.
NADR participants also vary considerably by site in their racial/ethnic distributions. The proportion of African American participants ranges from 9 to 95 percent; Hispanic participants range from 0 to 81 percent; and white participants range from 3 to 65 percent. As is the case with needle exchange programs, this variation across sites to some extent reflects regional differences. Overall the sample was 51 percent African American, 25 percent Latino, and 22 percent white.
Other noteworthy observations are that 81 percent of NADR participants had spent time in jail or prison, 41 percent had never been in a drug treatment program, and participants reported an average of 12 different sex partners in the past 6 months. However, it is again important to note that the demographic data presented here mostly reflect the demographics of participants who provided data for the final NADR analysis and, as a consequence, there may be a bias in the representation of the original NADR sites. Moreover, descriptions of sampling procedures (outreach workers recruited out-of-treatment injection drug users) make it unlikely that the studied sample is statistically representative of the out-of-treatment injection drug user population in this country. Nonetheless, this effort is the most extensive description of the demographic characteristics of out-of-treatment drug users to date. The similarity in demographic patterns, between NADR participants and the needle exchange participants reported earlier in this chapter, is notable.