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Prevention Of Transmission Of HIV Among Drug Users In SAARC Countries : Module-2
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Though no real data exists, it is estimated by policy planners and service providers that there are roughly over four million drug users in the SAARC region. Chasing (inhaling the vaporised form) of heroin is popular in the region, though transition to injecting has occurred and is rapidly diffusing. It is again estimated that SAARC countries would have about 400,000 IDUs. It needs to be stressed that at present apart from India no survey or size estimation of either drug use or injecting drug use has been carried out in the region. Of concern is the escalation in the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs, including synthetic opiates (like injectable buprenorphine), tranquillisers (diazepam), antihistamines and drug cocktails. The sharing of injecting equipment is common in India, Nepal and Bangladesh and many IDUs in the region also practise unsafe sexual behaviours.
Drug injecting may also contribute to an increased incidence of HIV infection through transmission to children of drug-injecting mothers, and through sexual contact between drug injectors and non-injectors (primarily from HIV seropositive IDUs to their sexual partners.
HIV risk among drug users does not arise only through injecting. Many types of psychoactive substances, whether injected or not (including alcohol) are risky to the extent that they affect the individual's ability to make decisions about safe sexual behaviour.
Injecting drug use patterns and associated HIV-risk behaviours are dynamic, and vary between countries, populations and time. Such patterns are determined by a broad range of individual (knowledge, attitude and behaviour) and contextual (social, economic, cultural and political) factors that together establish the conditions for HIV spread.
UNODC, AusAID ,   (2006 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 UNODC : Drugs and Crime
10.03.02  -  Diseases And Carriers Of Diseases
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