XIX International AIDS Conference

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MOPE230 - Poster Exhibition


Social networks, risk factors and prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV among drug users in Kenya

M.O. Oyaro1,2, J. Wylie3

1University of Nairobi, Human Pathology, Immunology Unit, Nairobi, Kenya, 2University of Manitoba, Canada, Medical Microbiology, Winnipeg, Canada, 3University of Manitoba, Medical Microbiology, Winnipeg, Canada

Background: Drug-users are vulnerable to HIV, HBV and HCV infections and have the potential to transmit HIV and hepatitis viruses across their networks. The study assessed the behavioral risk factors and prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV among drug users.
Methods: A cross-sectional study on drug use behavioral risk factors and presence of antibodies to HIV, HCV and surface antigen of HBV (HBsAg) was conducted among drug users using respondent-driven sampling approach to recruit participants from three towns (Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa) in Kenya. Risk factors for each of three infections were analyzed with logistic regression mode. The study was approved by both Kenyatta National Hospital/University of Nairobi Ethics Research Committee (KNH/UON-ERC) and University of Manitoba Health Research ethics board.
Results: A total of 709 drug users (49 female and 660 male) participated in the study. Median age was 27 years, ranging between 18 and 69 years. Injecting drug users (IDUs) accounted for 17.6% (n=125) of the study participants while non-injecting drug users (Non-IDUs) accounted for 82.4% (n= 584). The prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV were; 11.4 %, 4.4% and 5.9 % respectively. The common risk factors for HIV and hepatitis B and C infections reported were unprotected sex, multiple sex partners and commercial sex work while for IDUs, the additional risk factors include sharing of needles, accidental needle brick and sharing of blood with an individual who has received “a dose” (flashblood).
Conclusions: HIV prevalence of 11.2% and hepatitis B & C infections among drug abusers could present a bridge population for the spread of HIV and hepatitis B and C viruses into the general population in Kenya. Risk and harm reduction interventions are urgently needed to prevent this spread.


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