Prevention of AIDS among injectable drug-users

Concept

Prevention of HIV/AIDS through the targeted coverage of a high-risk population.

Context

Bordered by several boundaries including an international border with Pakistan, the prosperous state of Punjab attracts a large number of migrant workers. The intermingling of different population groups turns it into one of the Indian states that are the most vulnerable to the spread of HIV. The number of HIV positive people is continuously increasing in certain areas in which high-risk population groups are concentrated: truck drivers, prostitutes, homosexuals and drug addicts. One such case is the district of Jalandhar, at the heart of Punjab.

The project

The project specifically targets drug addicts in Jalandhar, among whom HIV prevalence rates are rising constantly due to the re-use of contaminated syringes and needles. Information, prevention practices (including the organisation of a system for returning used syringes, which has had a success rate of 81%), systematic links with health, HIV screening and de-addiction services, but also the fight against discrimination within communities, among the police, etc. – blocking the road to AIDS among this particularly vulnerable population calls for their comprehensive, adapted coverage.

Implementation

– Individual information of users and their partners.

– Free distribution of syringes and condoms.

– Designation of a doctor for referrals to check sexually transmissible infections.

– Access to HIV screening twice a year; to ARV treatments for infected individuals and to de-addiction centres.

Project location / Jalandhar District, Punjab, India
Region / South Asia
Area / Health education
Duration / 2010 - 2012
The project covers / 500 injectable drug users
Project manager / P.B. Sajeev
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