Deryabina AP, El-Sadr WM.
Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2019 Jun 18. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000565. [Epub ahead of print]
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
To summarize the status of HIV and substance use in Central Asia and discuss potential ways to move forward to effective epidemic control among people who inject drugs (PWID) in the region and beyond.
PWID and their partners remain the population most affected by HIV in Central Asia. Lack of effective substance use prevention and treatment options and limited involvement of PWID-led community-based organizations in HIV programs, combined with the requirement for official registration, stigma and discrimination of PWID, and criminalization of drug use remain key barriers to effective HIV prevention and treatment.
Sustainable HIV epidemic control among PWID will not be feasible without decriminalization of drug use, addressing stigma and discrimination and policy changes to enhance uptake of HIV-related prevention, treatment and support services by PWID. It is also critical to ensure adoption of innovations, particularly those that combine evidence-based biomedical, behavioral and structural interventions tailored to the needs of the PWID.