Towards combination HIV prevention for injection drug users: addressing addictophobia, apathy and inattention.

Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, USA.
Current opinion in HIV and AIDS (Impact Factor: 4.39). 04/2012; 7(4):320-5. DOI: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32835369ad
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent breakthroughs in HIV-prevention science led us to evaluate the current state of combination HIV prevention for injection drug users (IDUs). We review the recent literature focusing on possible reasons why coverage of prevention interventions for HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and tuberculosis among IDUs remains dismal. We make recommendations for future HIV research and policy.
IDUs disproportionately under-utilize voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT), primary care and antiretroviral therapy (ART), especially in countries that have the largest burden of HIV among IDUs. IDUs present later in the course of HIV infection and experience greater morbidity and mortality. Why are IDUs under-represented in HIV-prevention research, access to treatment for both HIV and addiction, and access to HIV combination prevention? Possible explanations include addictophobia, apathy, and inattention, which we describe in the context of recent literature and events.
This commentary discusses the current state of HIV-prevention interventions for IDUs including VCT, needle and syringe program (NSP), opioid substitution therapy (OST), ART and pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis (PrEP), and discusses ways to work towards true combination HIV prevention for IDU populations. Communities need to overcome tacit assumptions that IDUs can navigate through systems that are maintained as separate silos, and begin to take a rights-based approach to HIV prevention to ensure that IDUs have equitable access to life-saving prevention and treatments.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two behavioral HIV prevention interventions for people who inject drugs (PWID) infected with HIV include the Holistic Health Recovery Program for HIV+ (HHRP+), a comprehensive evidence-based CDC-supported program, and an abbreviated Holistic Health for HIV (3H+) Program, an adapted HHRP+ version in treatment settings. We compared the projected health benefits and cost-effectiveness of both programs, in addition to opioid substitution therapy (OST), to the status quo in the U.S. A dynamic HIV transmission model calibrated to epidemic data of current US populations was created. Projected outcomes include future HIV incidence, HIV prevalence, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained under alternative strategies. Total medical costs were estimated to compare the cost-effectiveness of each strategy. Over 10 years, expanding HHRP+ access to 80% of PWID could avert up to 29,000 HIV infections, or 6% of the projected total, at a cost of $7,777/QALY gained. Alternatively, 3H+ could avert 19,000 infections, but is slightly more cost-effective ($7,707/QALY), and remains so under widely varying effectiveness and cost assumptions. Nearly two-thirds of infections averted with either program are among non-PWIDs, due to reduced sexual transmission from PWID to their partners. Expanding these programs with broader OST coverage could avert up to 74,000 HIV infections over 10 years and reduce HIV prevalence from 16.5% to 14.1%, but is substantially more expensive than HHRP+ or 3H+ alone. Both behavioral interventions were effective and cost-effective at reducing HIV incidence among both PWID and the general adult population; however, 3H+, the economical HHRP+ version, was slightly more cost-effective than HHRP+.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0116694. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116694 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Young key populations, defined in this article as men who have sex with men, transgender persons, people who sell sex and people who inject drugs, are at particularly high risk for HIV. Due to the often marginalized and sometimes criminalized status of young people who identify as members of key populations, there is a need for HIV prevention packages that account for the unique and challenging circumstances they face. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is likely to become an important element of combination prevention for many young key populations. Objective: In this paper, we discuss important challenges to HIV prevention among young key populations, identify key components of a tailored combination prevention package for this population and examine the role of PrEP in these prevention packages. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive review of the evidence to date on prevention strategies, challenges to prevention and combination prevention packages for young key populations. We focused specifically on the role of PrEP in these prevention packages and on young people under the age of 24, and 18 in particular. Results and discussion: Combination prevention packages that include effective, acceptable and scalable behavioural, structural and biologic interventions are needed for all key populations to prevent new HIV infections. Interventions in these packages should meaningfully involve beneficiaries in the design and implementation of the intervention, and take into account the context in which the intervention is being delivered to thoughtfully address issues of stigma and discrimination. These interventions will likely be most effective if implemented in conjunction with strategies to facilitate an enabling environment, including increasing access to HIV testing and health services for PrEP and other prevention strategies, decriminalizing key populations' practices, increasing access to prevention and care, reducing stigma and discrimination, and fostering community empowerment. PrEP could offer a highly effective, time-limited primary prevention for young key populations if it is implemented in combination with other programs to increase access to health services and encourage the reliable use of PrEP while at risk of HIV exposure. Conclusions: Reductions in HIV incidence will only be achieved through the implementation of combinations of interventions that include biomedical and behavioural interventions, as well as components that address social, economic and other structural factors that influence HIV prevention and transmission.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 02/2015; 18(2(Suppl 1)):19434. DOI:10.7448/IAS.18.2.19434 · 4.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Efforts to prevent HIV transmission among substance-using populations have focused primarily among injection drug users, which have produced measurable reductions in HIV incidence and prevalence. By contrast, the majority of substances used worldwide are administered by noninjectable means, and there is a dearth of HIV prevention interventions that target noninjecting substance users. Increased surveillance of trends in substance use, especially cocaine (including crack) and methamphetamine, in addition to new and emerging substances (eg, synthetic cannabinoids, cathinones, and other amphetamine analogs) are needed to develop and scale up effective and robust interventions for populations at risk for HIV transmission via sexual behaviors related to noninjection substance use. Strategies are needed that address unique challenges to HIV prevention for substance users who are HIV infected and those who are HIV uninfected and are at high risk. We propose a research agenda that prioritizes (1) combination HIV-prevention strategies in substance users; (2) behavioral HIV prevention programs that reduce sexual transmission behaviors in nontreatment seeking individuals; (3) medical and/or behavioral treatments for substance abuse that reduce/eliminate substance-related sexual transmission behaviors; and (4) structural interventions to reduce HIV incidence.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 01/2013; 63:S174-S178. DOI:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182987028 · 4.39 Impact Factor


Available from
May 28, 2014