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P4.70 Averting an impending hiv epidemic: massive interventions needed for injecting drug users (IDUS) in bangladesh
  1. Mohammed Abul Kalam
  1. Siam Health Care, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abstract

Introduction Far from being an isolated population, injectors are intimately connected with others. They are linked with the rest of society – they have regular sex partners, they buy sex from women, as well as other men, they sell blood, and they also move between cities and inject. As long as HIV prevention through safe behaviour is not norm, the rest society is at risk from this virus. This study aims to collect information on IDUs and their health seeking behaviour in Bangladesh.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 120 IDUs attending a drug rehabilitation centre in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Data were collected on socio-demographics, drug use, health seeking behaviour, knowledge of injecting drugs, and sexual behaviour.

Results The mean ± SD and median (IQR) age of the participants were 32.5±21.3 and 33 (27-38) years, respectively, with only 9.2% females. Injection buprenorphine was the drug of choice for 40% of participants, and 58% of the participants first started drug use with smoking cannabis. 73.3% of participants shared needles sometimes and 57.5% were willing to use the needle exchange programs. 60% of the participants had no knowledge about the diseases spread by injection. Condom use during the last intercourse with regular partners was 11.7% and with any partners 15.8%.

Conclusion IDUs in Bangladesh are a high-risk group for HIV/AIDS due to lack of knowledge and risky behaviour. Bangladesh must immediately make it high priority to scale up interventions massively and stop further spread of HIV among drug injectors and other vulnerable people. And Bangladesh must act rapidly and decisively to avert the impending HIV epidemic or it will be too late.

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