Introduction: As a population profoundly affected by the HIV epidemic and in critical need of linkages to HIV treatment and care, PWID in Central Asia remain largely underserved. This paper provides an overview of the current state of HIV testing and counseling in Central Asia for PWID, identifies main barriers leading to gaps in service delivery, and discusses implications for improving strategies that promote HIV testing for PWID.
Methods: We reviewed a number of sources for this paper including unpublished government reports, published papers, and Ministries of Health of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan country progress reports to the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) for 2012.
Results: Between 29 and 65% of PLWH in some Central Asian countries have been tested for HIV in the last 12 months. The rates have been increasing in the recent years but still are relatively low. Stigma, discrimination, human rights violations, and repressive legislation are barriers to HTC for people who inject drugs (PWID).
Conclusion: The use of innovative evidence-based HTC models, such as community mobile-vans, selftesting at home, and rapid HIV testing among PWID in Central Asia are discussed and recommendations given regarding amendments in legislation and scaling up of existing community-based pilot projects to support HIV testing among PWID in CA.