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New evidence on the HIV epidemic in Libya: why countries must implement prevention programmes among people who inject drugs.

Mirzoyan, Lusine, Berendes, Sima, Jeffery, Caroline ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8023-0708, Thomson, Joanna, Ben Othman, Hussain, Danon, Leon, Turki, Abdullah A, Rabea, Saffialden and Valadez, Joseph (2013) 'New evidence on the HIV epidemic in Libya: why countries must implement prevention programmes among people who inject drugs.'. JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Vol 62, Issue 5, pp. 577-583.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Libya had one of the world's largest nosocomial HIV outbreaks in the late 1990s leading to the detention of six foreign medical workers. They were released in 2007 after the Libyan Government and the European Union agreed to humanitarian cooperation that included the development of Libya's first National HIV-Strategy and the research reported in this paper. Despite the absence of sound evidence on the status and dynamics of Libya's HIV-epidemic, some officials posited that injecting drug use (IDU) was a main mode of transmission. We therefore sought to assess HIV-prevalence and related risk factors among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Tripoli. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 328 PWID in Tripoli using respondent-driven sampling. We collected behavioural data and blood samples for HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBC) testing. RESULTS: We estimate an HIV-prevalence of 87%, HCV-prevalence of 94% and HBV-prevalence of 5%. We detected IDU-related, and sexual risk factors in the context of poor access to comprehensive services for HIV-prevention and mitigation. For example, most respondents (85%) reported having shared needles. CONCLUSION: In this first bio-behavioural survey among PWID in Libya we detected one of the highest (or even the highest) levels of HIV infection worldwide in the absence of a comprehensive harm-reduction programme. There is urgent need to implement an effective National HIV-Strategy informed by the results of this research, especially because recent military events, and related socio-political disruption and migration might lead to a further expansion of the epidemic.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503 Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.3 Etiology. Transmission
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.4 Epidemiology
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.6 Prevention and control
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0b013e318284714a
Depositing User: Helen Fletcher
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2013 10:43
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:06
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/3287

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