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Am J Public Health. 2008 Mar;98(3):515-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.114595. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Burden of HIV infection among aboriginal injection drug users in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Author information

  • 1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada. uhri@cfenet.ubc.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to examine whether there were differential rates of HIV incidence among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal injection drug users in a Canadian setting.

METHODS:

Data were derived from 2 prospective cohort studies of injection drug users in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression, we compared HIV incidence among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants.

RESULTS:

Overall, 2496 individuals were recruited between May 1996 and December 2005. Compared with that of non-Aboriginal persons, the baseline HIV prevalence was higher among Aboriginal persons (16.0% vs 25.1%; P<.001). Among participants who were HIV negative at baseline, the cumulative HIV incidence at 48 months was higher among Aboriginal persons (18.5% vs 9.5%; P<.001). In multivariate analyses, Aboriginal ethnicity was independently associated with elevated HIV incidence (relative hazard=1.59; 95% confidence interval=1.12, 2.26; P=.009).

CONCLUSIONS:

Aboriginal persons in Vancouver had a significantly elevated burden of HIV infection, which calls for a culturally sensitive and evidence-based response. Policymakers in other settings with at-risk Aboriginal populations should seek to avert similar public health emergencies by being proactive with evidence-based HIV-prevention programs.

PMID:
18235063
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2253561
Free PMC Article
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