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Background: Myanmar has one of the largest HIV positive populations in Asia and injecting drug use represents one of the major causes of HIV transmission.
Aim: the aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HIV and the risk behaviours among injecting drug users in Myanmar.
Methods: A cross sectional study was designed to collect the data among injecting drug users enlisted in the state harm reduction programme in selected regions.
Results: Of the 590 participants, 152 (25.8%) were HIV positive. Female (OR 5.96. 95% CI 1.31;30.45), using ‘used syringes’ (OR 1.81. 95% CI 1.23;2.68) and sharing syringe when first used drugs (OR 2.98. 95% CI 2.00;4.44) and injecting drugs past six months (OR 3.36. 95% CI 1.50;6.15) were significant risk factors. Age (p=<0.001) and frequency of drug use per day (p=0.022) were also statistically significant. HIV positive IDUs were more likely to use disposable syringes (OR 3.0. 95% CI 1.50;6.15) and were less likely to share syringes (OR 3.41. 95% CI 1.71;6.96) during their last drug use. HIV positive IDUs were also more likely to check for VDRL (OR 1.89. 95% CI 1.26;2.84) and more likely to be VDRL positive (OR 1.90. 95% CI 1.11;3.26).
Conclusion: HIV positive respondents used disposable syringes and few shared syringes the last time they injected drugs. This could probably be due to the education they received in the needle exchange programme centres.
Injecting drug use, HIV, risk behaviours, Myanmar