Senegalese Drug Abusers Emerge as High-Risk HIV Group
February 26, 2007
Senegalese health officials worry Africa's porous borders and its location have made it useful for drug trafficking, a trend that may potentially fuel the nation's HIV epidemic. Today, drug users have emerged as one of the nation's top HIV risk groups.
Data on the number of infected injection drug users (IDUs) are lacking, and so are prevention efforts targeting them, said Chiekh Diop, president of the Association of Non-Profits Against Drugs. "HIV prevention was not a priority in the beginning," he said. "It was only when we started seeing more HIV-positive cases, about three years ago, that we made the connection."
Health officials and researchers are planning studies of IDUs, said Diop. With the results, the government can explore proven prevention methods for use among IDUs, he said. That could include giving IDUs access to sterile needles, as other countries have done, he said.
Voice of America
02.12.07; Phuong Tran
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.