Melissa L. Welch-Lazoritz

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BACKGROUND Blood contained in needles and injection equipment has been identified as a vector for HIV and HCV transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID). Yet, there is often a wide discrepancy in prevalence for both viruses. While microbiological differences between viruses influence prevalence, other variables associated with the way drugs are(More)
OBJECTIVE This research examined the social network and recruitment patterns of a sample of people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in rural Puerto Rico, in an attempt to uncover systematic clustering and between-group social boundaries that potentially influence disease spread. METHODS Respondent driven sampling was utilized to obtain a sample of PWID in rural(More)
Engaging in survival sex and mental illness are overrepresented within homeless populations. This article assesses the relationship between symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and engaging in survival sex among homeless women. One hundred and fifty-eight homeless women completed surveys on self-reported BPD symptomology and sexual history.(More)
During the United States economic recession of 2008-2011, the number of homeless and unstably housed people in the United States increased considerably. Homeless adult women and unaccompanied homeless youth make up the most marginal segments of this population. Because homeless individuals are a hard to reach population, research into these marginal groups(More)
In this study, we report prevalence rates of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and Axis I psychiatric and substance use disorders among randomly selected women who were experiencing episodes of homelessness in three US cities. The sample consists of 156 women, 79 from Omaha, NE, 39 from Pittsburgh, PA, and 38 from Portland, OR. It included 140 women(More)
BACKGROUND Injection drug use and its associated blood-borne infections has become a rapidly increasing problem in rural areas of the US recently. Syringe exchange programs have been shown to be effective for reducing transmission of blood borne infections, however access to these prevention efforts may be limited in rural areas. METHODS This paper(More)
BACKGROUND The prevalence of hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV among persons who inject drugs (PWID) and the ability of these diseases to spread through injection networks are well documented in urban areas. However, less is known about injection behaviors in rural areas. OBJECTIVES This study focuses on the association between the number of self-reported(More)
This study provides a description of the physical, psychological, and substance use problems of adult homeless women who are and are not caring for children. We also examined differences in the characteristics of these two groups of women. Interviews were conducted with 148 homeless women from three mid-sized U.S. cities, 24.3 % of whom were caring for at(More)
BACKGROUND The War on Drugs has raised the incarceration rates of racial minorities for non-violent drug-related crimes, profoundly stigmatized drug users, and redirected resources from drug prevention and treatment to militarizing federal and local law enforcement. Yet, while some states consider shifting their punitive approach to drug use, to one based(More)
Although alcohol use has been associated with risky behavior generally, the relationship between alcohol use and multiple types of risk behaviors that could lead to the acquisition and transmission of HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) has not been fully examined. The current study seeks to contribute to the understanding of how(More)