Rutgers School of Public Health associate professor, Dr. Henry F. Raymond, was the senior author on a recent study that found the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) is substantially higher among adults generally in Mozambique.
This was the first study in Mozambique to measure prevalence of HIV, HBV, and HCV, and to examine demographic characteristics and risk behaviors in this key population. Dr. Raymond found that unsafe sexual behaviors and injection practices are frequent among PWID in Mozambique and are likely to contribute to further disease transmission.
The transmission of HIV among PWID and their partners is compounded by many HIV-positive PWID who are unaware of their serostatus, share needles, and do not use condoms. Specific and intensified efforts in prevention, care, and treatment services for PWID is urgent and necessary. Dr. Raymond suggests the implementation of harm reduction programs in Mozambique and its surrounding countries, especially Maputo where he says PWID having ever received any harm reduction or prevention services was, “unacceptably low.”Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on January 17