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Epidemiology of Drug Use and HIV-Related Risk Behaviors among People Who Inject Drugs in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Tan, A. X., Kapiga, S., Khoshnood, K. and Bruce, R. D. (2015) Epidemiology of Drug Use and HIV-Related Risk Behaviors among People Who Inject Drugs in Mwanza, Tanzania. PloS one, 10 (12). e0145578. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Heroin trafficking and consumption has increased steadily over the past decade in Tanzania, but limited information regarding HIV and drug use exists for the city of Mwanza. Our study investigates the epidemiology of drug use, and HIV risk behaviors among drug users in the northwestern city of Mwanza. Using a combination of targeted sampling and participant referral, we recruited 480 participants in Mwanza between June and August 2014. The sample was 92% male. Seventy-nine (16.4%) participants reported injecting heroin, while 434 (90.4%) reported smoking heroin. Unstable housing and cohabitation status were the only socioeconomic characteristics significantly associated with heroin injection. More than half of heroin injectors left syringes in common locations, and half reported sharing needles and syringes. Other risk behaviors such as lack of condom use during sex, and the use of illicit drugs during sex was widely reported as well. Among the study sample, there was poor awareness of health risks posed by needle/syringe sharing and drug use. Our results show that heroin use and HIV risk related behaviors are pressing problems that should not be ignored in Mwanza. Harm reduction programs are urgently needed in this population.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Heroin, HIV risk behaviors, Mwanza, Tanzania
Subjects: HIV > Surveillance
Divisions: Other
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 07:41
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2016 07:41
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/3590

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