HIV infection among female drug users in Northern Thailand.
Reports on HIV infection and risk behaviors among female drug users in developing countries, particularly in Asia, are limited. In this study, we investigated HIV prevalence and risk factors for HIV infection among 200 women admitted for 21-day inpatient drug detoxification in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Volunteers completed a face-to-face interview using a structured interview, HIV pre-test counseling, specimen collection for HIV and STD tests, and were provided test results and HIV post-test counseling 1 week later. Two-third of participants (68%) were ethnic minorities with no formal education. Overall, 14 (7%) were HIV positive: 25% among 28 heroin injectors and 4.1% among 172 opium or methamphetamine smokers (p<0.001). History of drug injection and sexual abuse were associated with HIV infection. HIV prevention strategies for drug-using women in Thailand should consider both harm reduction strategies for drug use and promoting safer sex measures in a culturally appropriate context.
Srirak, N; Kawichai, S; Vongchak, T; Razak, MH; Jittiwuttikarn, J; Tovanabutra, S; Rungruengthanakit, K; Keawvichit, R; Beyrer, C; Wiboonatakul, K; Sripaipan, T; Suriyanon, V; Celentano, DD
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