Paper on Prevalence of HIV among injection drug users in Georgia published on Journal of International Aids Society, 2011
In February 15, 2011 the Journal of International Aids Society Published the paper by CIF on Prevalence of HIV among injection drug users in Georgia.
Georgia is categorized as a low-HIV-prevalence country. According to the national HIV registry data, there has been a sharp increase in newly diagnosed cases since 2004, with a steady increase since 2008. Annually, almost half of the newly diagnosed cases are revealed at the AIDS stage of disease. There is regional heterogeneity in HIV prevalence with higher rates in the capital (Tbilisi), regions bordering Turkey, and in the conflict zone of Abkhazia. Injection drug use remains a major risk factor for HIV transmission. In 2009, more than 70% of new HIV infections were attributed to injection drug use or sexual contact with an injection drug user.
Drug abuse and its related health and social consequences are critical challenges facing Georgia. As a bridge between Europe and Asia, Georgia and other south Caucasian countries serve as a drug trafficking route into Russia and Europe. The conflict regions may also have conditions that support drug trafficking. No reliable estimates on the extent of drug use in Georgia currently exist
Since the Injection drug use remains a major risk factor for HIV transmission in Georgia authors of the study aimed to characterize the prevalence of HIV among injection drug users locally.
To assess the knowledge and behavior in injection drug users a cross-sectional, anonymous bio-behavioral survey in combination with laboratory testing on HIV status was conducted in five Georgian cities in 2009. A snowball sample of 1127 eligible injection drug user participants was investigated.
Read the full paper at Journal of International Aids Society web site.