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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2012 Dec;20(4):248-51.

Tuberculosis knowledge among injecting drug users visiting syringe exchange programme in Tallinn, Estonia.

Author information

  • 1National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia. kristi.ruutel@tai.ee

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of the current study was to describe tuberculosis (TB) knowledge, beliefs, and experience with TB services among injecting drug users.

METHODS:

Participants for this anonymous, cross-sectional study were recruited from a community based syringe exchange programme in Tallinn, Estonia. A structured questionnaire was completed and included information on socio-demographics, health history, drug use, and knowledge about TB and HIV.

RESULTS:

The study included 407 people (79% male, mean age 27.9 years, mean injection drug use 9.4 years). 32.9% of participants reported HIV infection and 1.7% lifetime history of TB. 26.4% participants (n=106) reported symptoms suggestive of TB. 93% of participants recognized correctly that TB is air-borne infection and 91% that HIV is a risk factor for TB. Only 40% of the participants knew that TB diagnostics and treatment in Estonia are free of charge for everybody and 58% reported they knew where to get health care services in case they suspected that they had TB. TB transmission and treatment adherence knowledge was better among those in contact with either health care or harm reduction services, e.g the community based syringe exchange programme.

CONCLUSION:

Similar to HIV services, TB prevention and education should be integrated into harm reduction and drug treatment programmes to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of TB among injecting drug users.

PMID:
23441387
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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