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Dramatic rises in injection drug use (IDU) in sub-Saharan Africa account for increasingly more infections in a region already overwhelmed by the HIV epidemic. There is no known estimate of the number of people who inject drugs (PWID) in the region, or the associated HIV prevalence in PWID. We reviewed literature with the goal of describing high-risk practices and exposures in PWID in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as current HIV prevention activities aimed at drug use. The literature search looked for articles related to HIV risk, injection drug users, stigma, and HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa. This review found evidence demonstrating high rates of HIV in IDU populations in sub-Saharan Africa, high-risk behaviors of the populations, lack of knowledge regarding HIV, and low HIV testing uptake. There is an urgent need for action to address IDU in order to maintain recent decreases in the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Asher AK, Hahn JA, Couture MC, Maher K, Page K. People Who Inject Drugs, HIV Risk, and HIV Testing Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care , Volume 24 , Issue 6 , e35 - e44. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2012.09.003

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doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2012.09.003