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Hiv/Sti Global Issue


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HIV/STI global issue Intravenous drug users (IDUs) are at an increased risk for blood-borne infections especially HIV due to sharing of contaminated syringes and needles. In china, an estimated 780,000 people were living in HIV/AIDS by the year 2011 and use of intravenous drug accounted for 28.4% of the reported cases. Syringe and needle exchange programs are aimed at allowing IDUs access sterile injecting equipment and safe disposal of used syringes and needles. The first official needle and syringe exchange program (NSEP) was established in 1983 in Amsterdam and these programs have since been widely established in both developing and developed world. Studies have shown that NSEPs effectively reduce HIV risk behaviors and HIV seroconversion among IDUs (Luo et al, 2015). According to Abdul-Quader et al (2013), out of an estimated global 16 million IDUs approximately 3 million are HIV positive and about 90% are at a great risk of HCV infection. Therefore, NSEPs have been implemented in cities, countries and regions worldwide in an effort to address HCV and HIV infections among the IDUs. Although these programs have shown to be beneficial in reducing factors influencing transmission of the viruses and risky injection behaviors, they have also been associated with negative effects among IDUs. Access to sterile syringes and needles is included by centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) list of evidence based HIV prevention interventions. In 2013, a panel comprising of experts for infectious disease policy recommended improvement of access to sterile syringes and needles for IDUs who will not stop drug injection to reduce HCV transmission which is easily transmitted by blood contact compared to HIV (Burt and Thiede, 2016). NSEPs have shown beneficial effects by making sterile needles available in pharmacies for IDUs to access at no or low cost. Distribution of

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