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Drug use as a driver of HIV risks: re-emerging and emerging issues

El-Bassel, Nabilaa; Shaw, Stacey A.a; Dasgupta, Aninditab,c; Strathdee, Steffanie A.b

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: March 2014 - Volume 9 - Issue 2 - p 150–155
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000035
EPIDEMIOLOGY: CONCENTRATED EPIDEMICS: Edited by Chris Beyrer, Stefan D. Baral, and Patrick S. Sullivan

Purpose of review We reviewed the studies published in 2012–2013 that focused on re-emerging and emerging injection and noninjection drug use trends driving HIV risk behaviors and transmission in some parts of the world.

Recent findings Although HIV incidence has declined in many countries, HIV epidemics remain at troubling levels among key drug-using populations, including females who inject drugs (FWIDs), FWIDs who trade sex, sex partners of people who inject drugs, young people who inject drugs, and people who use noninjection drugs in a number of low-income and middle-income countries such as in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa.

Summary HIV epidemics occur within the contexts of global economic and political forces, including poverty, human rights violations, discrimination, drug policies, trafficking, and other multilevel risk environments. Trends of injection and noninjection drug use and risk environments driving HIV epidemics in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa call for political will to improve HIV and substance use service delivery, access to combination HIV prevention, and harm reduction programs.

aGlobal Health Research Center of Central Asia, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, New York

bDepartment of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California

cJoint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Global Health), San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, California, USA

Correspondence to Nabila El-Bassel, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10027, USA. Tel: +1 212 851 2431; e-mail:

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