A profile on HIV and intravenous drug users in Nigeria: should we be alarmed?

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A profile on HIV and intravenous drug users in Nigeria: should we be alarmed?

G. Eluwa1, S. Strathdee2, S. Adebajo1, B. Aiyenigba3, W. Balami4, A. Azeez4, B. Ahonsi1, L. Abiodun1

1Population Council, Abuja, Nigeria, 2University of California at San Diego, Division of Global Public Health, San Diego, United States, 3E&F Management Consult (EFMC), Abuja, Nigeria, 4Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria



Background: Injecting drug use is now recognized as a significant risk factor for HIV in sub- Saharan Africa. We evaluated prevalence and correlates of HIV among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Nigeria.


Methods: A cross sectional study using respondent driven sampling (RDS) was conducted in six Nigerian states in 2010. Current IDUs underwent interviewer-administered surveys and HIV tests. Weighted HIV prevalence and injecting risk behaviors were calculated using an RDS analytic tool. Logistic regression was used to determine correlates of HIV infection, stratified by state.

Results: Total numbers of IDUs ranged from 191 in Lagos to 273 in Kano. Median age ranged from 26 years in Cross River (CR) state to 41 years in Lagos. HIV prevalence (Fig 1) was highest in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at 9.3%, Kaduna 5.8%, Oyo 5.1%, Kano 4.9%, CR 3.3% and Lagos 3.0%.

Although >90% of participants were male, females had higher HIV prevalence in all states surveyed except FCT (range: 7.4% in CR to 37.7% in Kano). Median duration of injecting drugs ranged from 2 years in FCT to 7 years in Lagos. Prevalence of all injecting risk behaviors was highest in FCT, ranging from 22% to 68% (table 1) for use of prefilled syringe and receptive sharing, respectively. [tab_03] Logistic regression showed that females were significantly more likely to be HIV positive in Kano [AOR:62.4, 95%CI:8.8 – 444.7], Oyo [AOR:19.0, 95%CI:4.4 – 82.8] and Kaduna states [AOR:12.3, 95%CI:1.4 – 106.7], but no other risk factors were identified.


Conclusions: Considerable heterogeneity in the prevalence of HIV and associated risk behaviors exists among IDUs across Nigeria. Females had higher HIV burden among IDUs in most Nigerian states, suggesting a need for tailored outreach to this hidden subgroup. Further research is needed to understand the transmission dynamics of IDUs, especially among female IDUs.
Key words: Injecting drug users, IDU, HIV, Nigeria, women.


Posted on July 23, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A profile on HIV and intravenous drug users in Nigeria: should we be alarmed?.

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