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Addiction. 2017 Aug;112(8):1421-1431. doi: 10.1111/add.13798. Epub 2017 May 4.

Engagement in HIV care and its correlates among people who inject drugs in St Petersburg, Russian Federation and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia.

Author information

1
Department of the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.
2
Center for Interdisciplinary Research at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
3
NGO-Stellit, St Petersburg, Russian Federation.
4
Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

HIV infection and mortality in Eastern Europe are driven by unsafe injection drug use. We sought to compare engagement in care from HIV testing through receipt of antiretroviral treatment among HIV-positive people who inject drugs (PWID) in St Petersburg, Russian Federation (RF) and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia and identify factors associated significantly with failure to progress at each stage of the HIV treatment cascade.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional biobehavioral surveys of PWID with an analysis stratified by location-two Russian-speaking regions with similar HIV epidemic histories and current prevalence.

SETTING:

Field-based surveys conducted in St Petersburg, RF and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia.

PARTICIPANTS:

We recruited 452 HIV-positive PWID in St Petersburg (November 2012 to June 2013) and 370 HIV-positive PWID in Kohtla-Järve (June-August 2012) using respondent-driven sampling.

MEASUREMENTS:

Participants were tested for antibodies to HIV, and administered a questionnaire focusing on participants' medical care histories. Engagement in care was categorized as a cascade of five transitional steps through six stages, ranging from HIV testing to current receipt of antiretroviral medications.

FINDINGS:

Progress along the cascade was greater in Kohtla Järve (32.7% were receiving antiretroviral medications) than in St Petersburg (9.7%). In both locations, we found the steps with high failure rates were the transitions from being aware of one's HIV diagnosis to being in regular care and initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Factors associated significantly with transition failure in both locations and across steps included high alcohol consumption, variables associated with drug choice and injection frequency and lack of basic medical insurance.

CONCLUSION:

The two steps in treatment cascade for HIV-positive PWID in St Petersburg, RF and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia requiring greatest improvement are retention in regular care and initiation of HAART. Both individual behavioral and structural factors are associated with failure to transition along the cascade.

KEYWORDS:

Antiretroviral therapy; Eastern Europe; HIV; HIV testing; people who inject drugs; treatment cascade

PMID:
28233356
PMCID:
PMC5526080
DOI:
10.1111/add.13798
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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