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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Jul;42(3):342-6.

High prevalence of HIV infection associated with incarceration among community-based injecting drug users in Tehran, Iran.

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1
Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, Kyoto University School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan. szamani@pbh.med.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV-1 infection among community-based injecting drug users (IDUs) in Tehran, Iran.

METHODS:

In October 2004, 213 IDUs were recruited from a drop-in center and its neighboring parks and streets in Tehran. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire regarding their sociodemographics and HIV risk characteristics, and specimens of oral mucosal transudate were collected and tested for HIV-1 antibodies. Data were analyzed using chi and multiple logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS:

The prevalence of HIV-1 infection was 23.2% (48 of 207) among male injecting drug users. In the multivariable analysis, a history of shared drug injection inside prison (OR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.01-5.97) and that of multiple incarcerations (OR, 3.13; 95% CI, 1.08-9.09) were associated with significantly higher prevalence of HIV-1 infection.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of HIV-1 infection has reached an alarming level among IDUs in Tehran, with incarceration-related exposures revealed to be the main correlates of HIV-1 infection. Urgent and comprehensive harm reduction programs for drug users in prison and those in the community in Tehran are of prime importance to prevent further transmission of HIV infection.

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