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Original Papers/Research Reports

Uptake of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C testing among injection drug users in Thailand

Authors:

Roongnapapa Khampang ,

Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkhla University, Hatyai, TH
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Sawitri Assanangkornchai,

Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Programme, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, TH
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Linda B Cottler

College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, US
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Abstract

Correction: Due to an error in the online publication of this journal, the publication date of this issue was recorded as 2014. The publication date was corrected to 2015 on 3rd September 2015. The date on the cover is correct.

 

Background: Behaviour related to injection drug use such as needle and sy­ringe sharing and unsafe sex contribute to the transmission of blood-borne viral infections such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Therefore, it is recommended that ongoing Injection Drug Users (IDUs) should receive screening for HIV, HBV and HCV at least once every 6 to 12 months. This study aims to esti­mate prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV testing uptake among IDUs living in Songkhla Province, Thailand, and explore its associated factors.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 157 male IDUs liv­ing in Songkhla, in southern Thailand, between July 2013 and January 2014. Participants were recruited through a snowball technique where they were given a unique coded coupon. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire.

Results: The most common test reported was HIV (72%), followed by HBV (44.6%) and HCV (39.5%) respectively. Over one quarter (26.1%) reported not having been tested in the past 12 months while 35.7% reported having been tested for all three viruses. IDUs who had visited an NGO-run drop-in centre, knew the risks of injection drug use, had completed secondary or higher education, had used heroin or amphetamine less than weekly, had re­ceived targeted information or education, or were married, and had a greater likelihood to report receiving all three tests.

Discussion and conclusions: There is room for improvement in the utili­sation of testing for blood-borne viral infections. More attention must be given to those participants who have never visited a health facility or a drop-in centre, do not know the risks of injection drug use and do not receive targeted information or education. Particularly, IDUs who use drugs more frequently should be the first priority.

International Journal of Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders 2015;1(3-4):38-54

How to Cite: Khampang, R., Assanangkornchai, S. & Cottler, L.B., (2015). Uptake of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C testing among injection drug users in Thailand. International Journal of Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders. 1(3-4), pp.38–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ijptsud.v1i3-4.7837
Published on 28 Jul 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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