Marked ethnic differences in HIV prevalence and risk behaviors among injection drug users in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 2004

Julie A. Stachowiak, Farida K. Tishkova, Steffanie A. Strathdee, Mark A. Stibich, Alisher Latypov, Vladimir Mogilnii, Chris Beyrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine differences by ethnicity of HIV prevalence and correlates among injection drug users (IDUs) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Methods: The researchers enrolled 489 active adult IDUs in a cross-sectional risk factor study of HIV infection. Participants were provided HIV pre-and posttest counseling and risk reduction counseling and answered an interviewer-administered questionnaire. HIV-1 status was determined with rapid tests and confirmed with ELISA. Results: Participants included four ethnicities: 204 Tajiks (49.1%), 145 Russians (29.7%), 58 Uzbeks (11.9%), and 46 participants of other nationalities (9.4%). Overall prevalence of HIV-1 infection was 12% and varied significantly by ethnieity: it was highest among ethnic Tajiks, at 19.2%; lowest among Russians and Uzbeks, at 3.4%; and 13% among other nationalities. Ethnic groups differed significantly in years injecting, receiving a needle from a needle exchange program (NEP), injecting in groups, having undergone drug treatment, reported condom use, and arrest history. Among Tajiks, HIV infection was significantly associated with daily injecting (OR 2.16); reporting that narcoties were very easy to obtain (OR 2.46); having undergone drug treatment (OR 2.75), and injecting "alone" (OR 3.12). Conclusions: Ethnic differences were strongly associated with HIV prevalence and risk behaviors in this multiethnic study, and prevention efforts might need to be targeted by ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S7-S14
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • HIV
  • Injection drugs
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors
  • Tajikistan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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