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Prevalence of HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis Among Injecting Drug Users in Russia: A Multi-City Study

September 22, 2006

The authors of the current study sought to estimate prevalence of HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and syphilis in injecting drug users (IDUs) in Russia.

IDUs were recruited from non-treatment settings in three Russian cities: Moscow, Volgograd, and Barnaul (Siberia). An unlinked anonymous cross-sectional survey of 1,473 IDUs was performed, with oral fluid sample collection for HIV and HCV antibodies and syphilis testing.

HIV antibody prevalence was 14 percent in Moscow, 3 percent in Volgograd and 9 percent in Barnaul. HCV prevalence was 67 percent in Moscow, 70 percent in Volgograd and 54 percent in Barnaul. Positive syphilis serology prevalence was 8 percent in Moscow, 20 percent in Volgograd and 6 percent in Barnaul. One-half of those testing HIV-positive and one-third of those HCV-positive were unaware of their infection. Common risk factors associated with HIV and HCV included both direct and indirect sharing of injecting equipment and injection of home-produced drugs. In examining environmental risk factors, the researchers found increased odds of HIV antibodies were associated with being in prison in Moscow, and some association was noted between official registration as a drug user and HIV and HCV antibodies. No associations were found between sexual risk behaviors and HIV antibodies in any of the three cities.

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"HIV prevalence among IDUs was markedly higher than city routine surveillance data suggests and at potentially critical levels in terms of HIV prevention in two cities," the authors concluded. "HCV prevalence was high in all cities. Syphilis prevalence highlights the potential for sexual HIV transmission. Despite large-scale testing programs, knowledge of positive status was poor. The scaling-up of harm reduction for IDUs in Russia, including sexual risk reduction, is an urgent priority."

Back to other news for September 22, 2006

Adapted from:
Addiction
02.2006; Vol. 101; No. 2: P. 252-266; Tim Rhodes; Lucy Platt; Svetlana Maximova; Evgeniya Koshkina; Natalia Latishevskaya; Matthew Hickman; Adrian Renton; Natalia Bobrova; Tamara McDonald; John V. Parry


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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