HIV Among Injection Drug Users and Their Intimate Partners in Almaty, Kazakhstan

HIV Among Injection Drug Users and Their Intimate Partners in Almaty, Kazakhstan
reply

This paper examines prevalence rates of HIV, HCV, and syphilis among a sample of injecting drug users (IDUs) and their heterosexual intimate partners (N = 728) from Almaty, Kazakhstan. The study uses baseline data from Project Renaissance, a couple-based HIV prevention intervention delivered to a couple where one or both partners are IDUs. HIV prevalence rates among female and male IDUs were 28 %. Among the full sample, 75 % had HCV, and 13 % tested positive for the syphilis antibody test. Only 10 % of the sample ever visited a needle exchange program. One-fourth (25.3 %) had never been tested for HIV. One-quarter of those who tested positive were unaware of their status. Being HIV positive was associated with a history of incarceration, being an IDU, and having access to needle exchange programs. The findings call for increasing efforts to improve access to HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and care for IDUs in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Published in 2013
Nabila El-Bassel
Louisa Gilbert
Assel Terlikbayeva