Controlling HIV and HCV Epidemics Among People Who Inject Drugs in Northwest Province in Vietnam: Based on Evidence From Surveys

Author: Binh Kieu, Son Phan, Ryan Kling, Theodore M. Hammett

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2017

Background: As in many parts of the world, The sharing needles, syringes, and other injection equipment puts people who inject drugs (PWIDs) at high risk for getting HIV and hepatitis. The HIV prevalence among PWIDs from the 2009 IBBS showed that 48% in Dien Bien and 22% in Lao Cai.

Methods: The evaluation employed two follow-up cross-sectional surveys in Dien Bien and Lao Cai provinces in 2011 that were 6 months apart. The follow-up surveys were conducted at 13 and 19 months post-2009 IBBS baseline to identify changes in risk behaviors and key epidemic (HIV, HCV) trends. The evaluation was conducted at 3 sites, one site in Dien Bien (Tuan Giao district) and two sites in Lao Cai (Lao Cai city and Bat Xat district). Study participants were recruited by the time and location sampling strategy, the same IBBS 2009 strategy.
The HIV testing procedure was conducted following the national guidelines. The HCV testing: To determine HCV prevalence, HCV antibodies were detected with ELISA tests

Results: The HIV prevalence among PWIDs (Tuan Giao: 48%-38%-38% , Lao Cai:17%-18%-13% and Bat Xat : 35% – 16%-15% [p=0.032]). The HCV prevalence is stable in Tuan Giao (68%), increasing rates are observed at 19 month in Lao Cai city (79% vs 73%) and in Bat Xat (81% vs 78%).
The co-infected HIV with HCV prevalence is high in all sites, from73% (Lao Cai city) to 78% (Bat Xat) in 13 month, and from 69% (Tuan Giao) to 81% (Bat Xat) in 19 month.

Discussion: Use data on HIV, hepatitis to determine where services are needed. Work with law enforcement and local leaders to expand access to SSPs, where permitted by law. Provide HIV and hepatitis testing and prevention services for PWIDs. Ensure treatment is available for overdoses, HIV, hepatitis, and substance use disorder resources.

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