Background Global strategies have been discussed and implemented worldwide to reduce the number of new HIV infections among key populations. In Brazil, there is a large lack of knowledge about groups that are highly vulnerable to this infection, such as drug users. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the epidemiological profile of HIV infection in institutionalized crack users in the Central Region of Brazil.
Methods Between 2012 and 2013 we conducted a cross-sectional study of 919 crack users who were being treated at mental health referral institutions in two major cities located in the Central-West Region of Brazil. All were interviewed and tested for anti-HIV by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Univariate and multivariate Logistic regression were done to identify the association of HIV and behaviors variables. This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Goiás.
Results Of the total number of individuals recruited, 85.2% were male (84.5%), young (median: 30 years old, IQR: 18–68) and basic schooling (median: 8 years of study, IQR: 0–18). Of the total, 2.6% (95% CI: 1.7%- 3.8%) were anti-HIV positive, ranging from 2.2% (95% CI: 1.4%-3.6%) in men and 4.4% (95% CI: 2%- 9.2%) in women. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the antecedent of life on the street (adjusted OR: 4.0, p = 0.023), sexually transmitted infection (adjusted OR: 4.4, p= 0.014), use of improvised pipe for crack use (adjusted OR: 7.9; p= 0.010) and having sex in the last year with a partner known to have HIV/AIDS (adjusted OR: 8.7;p = 0.001) were predictors of HIV infection.
Conclusion Effective HIV prevention and control strategies should be implemented for this specific group including the community-based and community-led programs, with an emphasis on health education, harm reduction measures, and control of sexually transmitted infections, especially among homeless people.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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