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

Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, Kyoto University School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.39). 08/2006; 42(3):342-6. DOI: 10.1097/01.qai.0000219785.81163.67
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV-1 infection among community-based injecting drug users (IDUs) in Tehran, Iran.
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).
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.
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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    • "Finally, 18 documents (12 English and 6 Persian) were included in this review. One document (Rahbar, Rooholamini, & Khoshnood, 2004) had reported two separate studies in one paper and two studies (Rahimi-Movaghar, Razaghi, Sahimi-Izadian, & Amin-Esmaeili, 2010; Zamani et al., 2006) were conducted in more than one setting . As the sampling methods were different for each setting, we presented them as separate studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Iran is a country with low HIV prevalence in the general population and concentrated prevalence amongst injecting drug users (IDUs). Various studies have been carried out on HIV prevalence amongst IDUs in Iran and diverse results have been reported. This systematic review intended to find and collect all relevant studies, assess the quality of data and provide estimations on the national prevalence over time. A broad search strategy was used, including searching international and local databases, research reports, and extensive personal contacts. All studies of IDUs conducted between 1998 and 2007 including clear description of method and HIV testing and confirmative western blot test were entered and qualitatively assessed. HIV prevalence rates were pooled for gender and stratified into several categories. Twenty-two studies involving 3916 IDUs were included. Half of the studies had been conducted in Tehran. Ten studies were conducted in prisons, seven in treatment centres and five in the Drop-in-centres or communities. After 2005 the pooled HIV prevalence was 18.4% [95% Confidence Interval (CI) 16.7-20.2] significantly higher than the prevalence rate before 2005 [8.7% (95% CI 7.5-10]. HIV prevalence amongst IDUs has increased over time and has the potential to increase exponentially. Scaling up harm reduction measures, increasing their availability and coverage, and improving the quality of services is highly recommended in order to prevent a future catastrophic epidemic.
    The International journal on drug policy 10/2011; 23(4):271-8. DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2011.09.002 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    • "In our previous report, we showed that the prevalence of HIV-1 infection was more than 23% and it was associated with a history of shared drug injection inside prison and that of multiple incarcerations (Zamani et al., 2006). In this report, we investigated the prevalence of HCV infection and its correlates among the same group of community-based IDUs in Tehran. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and correlates of hepatitis C virus infection among injecting drug users in a community-based setting in Tehran, Iran. In October 2004, injecting drug users were recruited from a drop-in centre and neighboring parks and streets in a drug-populated neighborhood in Tehran. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire, and a sample of oral mucosal transudate was collected for detection of HIV and HCV antibodies. Overall, 105 of 202 participants (52.0%) were found to be positive for HCV-antibody testing. After adjustment for the basic demographic characteristics, the prevalence of HCV infection was found to be associated with length of drug injection (more than 10 years) [odds ratio (OR), 3.25; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.43-7.38], length of lifetime incarcerations (more than a year) (OR, 3.44; 95% CI, 1.68-7.06), and a history of being tattooed inside prison (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.06-3.62). High prevalence of HCV infection and its association with incarceration-related exposures are important implications for harm reduction initiatives for drug using inmates in Iran. While prevention interventions for drug using inmates are being expanded in Iran, it is important that high prevalence of HCV infection be taken into consideration in order to control further transmission of this infection.
    The International journal on drug policy 11/2007; 18(5):359-63. DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.02.007 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An HIV outbreak among Finnish injecting drug users (IDUs) occurred in 1998. By the end of 2005, 282 IDUs were in-fected, most of them by recombinant virus CRF01_AE of HIV. After a rapid spread, the outbreak subsided, and the prevalence of HIV among IDUs remained low (<2%). The purpose of the study was to describe the outbreak in order to recognise factors that have influenced the spread and restriction of the outbreak, and thus to find tools for HIV preven-tion. Data on Finnish IDUs newly diagnosed HIV-positive between 1998 and 2005 was collected through interviews and patient documents. Study I compared markers of disease progression between 93 Finnish IDUs and 63 Dutch IDUs. In study II, geographical spread of the HIV outbreak was examined and compared with the spatial distribution of employed males. In study III, risk behaviour data from interviews of 89 HIV-positive and 207 HIV-negative IDUs was linked, and prevalence and risk factors for unprotected sex were evaluated. In study IV, data on 238 newly diagnosed IDUs was combined with data on 675 sexually transmitted HIV cases, and risk factors for late HIV diagnosis (CD4 cell count <200/µL, or AIDS at HIV diagnosis) were analysed. Finnish IDUs infected with CRF01_AE exhibited higher viral loads than did Amsterdam IDUs infected with subtype B, but there was no difference in CD4 development. The Finnish IDU outbreak spread and was restricted socially in a marginalised IDU population and geographically in areas characterised by low proportions of employed males. Up to 40% of the cases in the two clusters outside the city centre had no contact with the centre, where needle exchange services were available since 1997. Up to 63% of HIV-positive and 80% of HIV-negative sexually active IDUs reported inconsistent condom use, which was associated with steady relationships and recent inpatient addiction care. Com-pared to other transmission groups, HIV-positive IDUs were diagnosed earlier in their infection. The proportion of late diagnosed HIV cases in all transmission groups was 23%, but was only 6% among IDUs diagnosed during the first four years of the epidemic. The high viral load in early HIV infection may have contributed to the rapid spread of recombinant virus in the Finnish outbreak. The outbreak was restricted to a marginalised IDU population, and limited spatially to local pockets of pov-erty. To prevent HIV among IDUs, these pockets should be recognised and reached early through outreach work and the distribution of needle exchange and other prevention activities. To prevent the sexual transmission of HIV among IDUs, prevention programmes should be combined with addiction care services and targeted at every IDU. The early detection of the outbreak and early implementation of needle exchange programmes likely played a crucial role in re-versing the IDU outbreak. Pistoshuumeiden käyttäjien HIV-epidemia todettiin pääkaupunkiseudulla vuonna 1998. Epidemia levisi aluksi nopeasti, mutta myös rajoittui muutamassa vuodessa. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli tunnistaa tekijöitä, jotka vaikuttivat epidemian leviämiseen ja rajoittumiseen, ja siten löytää keinoja HIV-epidemian ennaltaehkäisyyn. Aineisto käsitti 238 HIV-tartunnan saanutta pistoshuumeidenkäyttäjää, joiden tietoja verrattiin hollantilaisista HIV-positiivisista ja suomalaisista HIV-negatiivisista huumeidenkäyttäjistä kerättyihin tietoihin, miesten työllisyyslukujen alueelliseen jakaumaan ja pääkaupunkiseudun seksivälitteisiin HIV-tartuntoihin. HIV-epidemia levisi syrjäytyneiden pistoshuumeiden käyttäjien keskuudessa. Kaikki Helsingin keskustan ulkopuolella sijaitsevat huumeidenkäyttäjien rypäät sijaitsivat alueilla, joissa miesten työllisyysluvut olivat alle 70%. Muissa tutkimuksissa on osoitettu puhtaiden pistosvälineiden saatavuuden estävän HIV:n leviämistä. Pääkaupunkiseudun epidemiassa 40% keskustan ulkopuolella asuvista huumeidenkäyttäjistä jäi pistosvälineiden vaihdon ja terveysneuvonnan ulkopuolelle, koska heillä ei ollut yhteyksiä keskustaan, jossa terveysneuvonta ja pistosvälineiden vaihto aloitettin juuri ennen epidemiaa. Suomessa levinnyt viruksen alatyyppi (CRF01_AEfin) edesauttoi epidemian leviämistä, sillä suomalaisilla huumeidenkäyttäjillä todettiin korkeampia veren viruspitoisuuksia kuin hollantilaisilla B-alatyypin viruksella infektoituneilla huumeidenkäyttäjillä. Veren korkea viruspitoisuus lisää tartuttavuutta. HIV ei levinnyt ydinjoukon ulkopuolelle eikä uusille alueille. Epidemian rajoittumiseen vaikutti todennäköisesti sen varhainen toteaminen terveysneuvonnan kehittymisen ohella. Huumeidenkäyttäjien HIV-tartunnoista 1998-2001 vain 6% todettiin myöhäisessä vaiheessa (veren CD4-solut alle 200/µL tai AIDS-vaiheessa), kun kaikista pääkaupunkiseudun HIV-tartunnoista 23% todettiin myöhään. Yli puolet huumeidenkäyttäjien tartunnoista todettiin vankiloissa, päihdehoidossa tai terveysneuvontapisteissä; paikoissa joissa HIV-testiä tarjotaan aktiivisesti. HIV voi yhä levitä huumeiden käyttäjien keskuudessa joko pistämisen tai seksin välityksellä. Suojaamaton seksi on yleistä sekä HIV-positiivisten että HIV-negatiivisten huumeiden käyttäjien keskuudessa, etenkin vakituisissa suhteissa ja hiljattain päihdehoitoa tarvinneilla. Seksuaaliterveyden neuvontaa tulisi tarjota kaikille huumeidenkäyttäjille ja heidän seksikumppaneilleen. Terveysneuvonnan alueellinen hajauttaminen ja kohdistettu etsivä työ ovat avainasemassa huumeidenkäyttäjien HIV-tartuntojen toteamiseksi varhain ja epidemioiden ehkäisemiseksi.
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