Characterization of the emerging HIV type 1 and HCV epidemics among injecting drug users in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Chris Beyrer, Zeenat Patel, Julie A. Stachowiak, Farida K. Tishkova, Mark A. Stibich, Lindsay M. Eyzaguirre, Jean K. Carr, Vladimir Mogilnii, Alena Peryshkina, Alisher Latypov, Steffanie A. Strathdee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study aimed to determine HIV, HCV, and syphilis prevalence and correlates, and to characterize the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. A cross-sectional study assessing risk factors for HIV and HCV through an interview administered survey was conducted. A total of 491 active adult IDUs were recruited from May to November 2004 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. HIV-1 antibody status was determined with rapid testing and confirmed with ELISA. HCV antibody testing was conducted using a BIOELISA HCV kit. HIV-1 subtyping was done on a subset with full-length sequencing. Correlates of HIV and HCV infection were assessed using logistic regression. Overall prevalence of HIV was 12.1%, HCV was 61.3%, and syphilis was 15.7%. In a multivariate logistic regression model controlling for gender and ethnicity, daily injection of narcotics [odds ratio (OR) OR 3.22] and Tajik nationality (OR 7.06) were significantly associated with HIV status. Tajik nationality (OR 1.91), history of arrest (OR 2.37), living/working outside Tajikistan in the past 10 years (OR 2.43), and daily injection of narcotics (OR 3.26) were significantly associated with HCV infection whereas being female (OR 0.53) and always using a sterile needle (OR 0.47) were inversely associated with HCV infection. Among 20 HIV-1-positive IDU with specimens available for typing, 10 were subtype A, 9 were CRF02-AG, and one was an A-CRF02-AG recombinant. Epidemics of HIV-1, HCV, and drug use are underway in Dushanbe. The molecular epidemiology is distinctive, with West African variants accounting for roughly 50% of prevalent infections. Targeted prevention programs offering both needle exchange programs and opiate substitution therapies are urgently called for to prevent the further spread of HIV and HCV in Tajikistan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-860
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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