It is clear that the number of new HIV infections is increasing in Kazakhstan, while at the same time the proportion of injecting drug users is decreasing. This trend can also be observed in the other Central Asian countries, but it is difficult to explain it analytically.
Also the number of opioid users treated in narcological clinics is declining, while the number of patients in Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) is slowly increasing, but still on a very small scale in relation to the total number of opioid users1. Whether these substitution treatments affect HIV prevalence rates is difficult to assess, but their overall range and the retention rates are still far too low / too high respectively to produce epidemiological effects.
One important area that is severely neglected is the risk of hepatitis infections, which, according to too few existing data, is much larger than HIV / AIDS. The prevalence is between 60-80% and there is hardly any treatment available, which is still too expensive and for which there is hardly any practice experience.