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Publications (4)9.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To ascertain HIV prevalence among people who inject drug (injection drug users (IDUs)) in the Russian Federation and identify explanations for the disparity in different cities. Cross-sectional survey with serological testing for HIV and hepatitis C virus prevalent infections. 8 Russian cities-Irkutsk, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Naberezhnye Chelny, Voronezh, Orel and St Petersburg. In 2007-2009 active IDUs were recruited by respondent-driven sampling with a target sample size of 300 or more in each city. Participants were administered a questionnaire covering sociodemographics, injection risk and protective behaviours, sexual behaviours, HIV knowledge, experiences with drug treatment and harm reduction programmes and social networks. Participants were tested for HIV and hepatitis C by enzyme immunoassay. Data were analysed to identify individual-level, network-level and city-level characteristics significantly associated with HIV prevalence. Factors significant at p≤0.1 were entered into a hierarchical regression model to control for multicollinearity. A total of 2596 active IDUs were recruited, interviewed and tested for HIV and hepatitis C virus infection. HIV prevalence ranged from 3% (in Voronezh) to 64% (in Yekaterinburg). Although individual-level and network-level variables explain some of the difference in prevalence across the eight cities, the over-riding variable that seems to account for most of the variance is the emergence of commercial, as opposed to homemade, heroin as the predominant form of opioid injected. The expansion of commercial heroin markets to many Russian cities may have served as a trigger for an expanding HIV epidemic among IDUs in that country.
    BMJ Open 01/2013; 3(6). · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV epidemic in Russia remains concentrated mostly among injection drug users (IDUs). Little is known about the extent to which sexual partnerships bridge between IDUs and the general population and create the potential for epidemic generalization. IDUs in two Russian cities, Novosibirsk and Ivanovo (N=593) were recruited via respondent-driven sampling. A modified one-step snowball strategy was used to recruit IDU's sex-partners who do not themselves use drugs (PIDU, N=82). Sexual behaviors of all participants were assessed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. All participants provided blood specimens for HIV and HCV testing. HIV and HCV prevalence among IDUs was 34.0% and 44.4% in Ivanovo and 3.8% and 54.3% in Novosibirsk. HIV-prevalence among PIDUs was 6.8% in Ivanovo and 8.7% in Novosibirsk. In both cities large proportions of IDUs reported sexual partnerships with non-IDUs - 49.7% in Ivanovo vs. 62.7% in Novosibirsk (p≤0.001) and fewer than 1 in 4 IDUs reported constant condom use in such partnerships. This pilot study results shows that two IDU populations with significantly different HIV prevalence both form sexual partnerships with non-IDUs and practice unsafe sexual behavior within such type of partnerships. However the proportion of PIDUs who form partnerships with other non-IDUs that therefore could lead to epidemic generalization is very different between two cities and this difference needs to be considered when estimating the spread of HIV into the general population. Unsafe sexual behavior and HIV testing should be specific targets for prevention activities for IDUs and their sex-partners in Russia.
    AIDS research and human retroviruses 11/2012; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A rapidly advancing epidemic of HIV-1 infection has been documented among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Russia. The Northwestern Federal District was the first of the seven Russian Federal Districts involved in a drug-related HIV epidemic through an outbreak in Kaliningrad in 1996. The Northwestern Federal District has a high HIV prevalence rate having reached 252 per 100,000 by the end of 2003, exceeding the Russian average (180) by 1.4 times. The epidemic peaked in 2001. Since then the annual number of new cases has decreased, probably reflecting saturation among at least some IDU populations. However, at the same time, the heterosexual spread of HIV has become more prominent. To study the genetic epidemiology of HIV-1, samples were collected from 150 individuals covering a wide geographical area and different transmission groups in the Northwestern Federal District. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that an Eastern European subtype A HIV-1 strain similar to those reported earlier among IDUs in other regions of Russia accounted for 80% of HIV-1 infections and was the predominant subtype in six out of seven administrative territories studied both among IDUs and heterosexually infected persons. As an exception to the dominant role of the Eastern European subtype A strain, the CRF03-AB strain was found to be dominant in the city of Cherepovets located in the north central European Russian territory of Vologda Oblast. This is the first report of the CRF03-AB strain causing an outbreak outside the Kaliningrad region.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 12/2006; 22(11):1074-80. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the former Soviet Union (SU) increasing numbers of HIV-1 infections among injecting drug users (IDU) have been reported, especially in the Ukraine. The main subtype transmitted among the IDUs seems to be subtype A, but limited numbers of subtype B cases have also been reported. In Kaliningrad, Russia, an AB recombinant strain was earlier shown to be responsible for the local outbreak. Here we describe the genetic relationship of HIV-1 strains circulating among IDUs in the former SU. For subtype A and the AB recombinant strains nearly full-length genomes were sequenced, and for one subtype B strain the entire envelope gene was cloned. The relationship between the AB recombinant strain and the subtype A and subtype B strains and the mosaic structure of the recombinant was studied by phylogenetic analysis. Ukrainian A and B strains were shown to be the probable parental viruses of the Kaliningrad AB recombinant strain. In the envelope gene the recombination breakpoint could also be precisely mapped to a region of similarity of only 14 base pairs. This suggests that only short stretches of absolute sequence identity may be needed for efficient RNA recombination between HIV-1 subtypes.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 08/2000; 16(11):1047-53. · 2.71 Impact Factor