Harm reduction curtailed HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs in Taiwan
Implementation of a comprehensive harm reduction programme curtailed the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs in Taiwan29 Apr 2014
Implementation of a comprehensive harm reduction programme successfully contained the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs in Taiwan, investigators report in PLOS Medicine. The availability of free antiretroviral therapy lowered community viral load – a measure of infectiousness. Engagement with methadone replacement programmes reduced the relative risk of infection with HIV by 80%. There were no new HIV infections among former prisoners who were frequent users of needle exchange programmes.
“Our data indicate that implementation of a comprehensive harm reduction program…was followed by a significant reduction in the HIV incidence rate among PWID [people who inject drugs] in Taiwan,” comment the authors. “Maintaining high coverage of harm reduction services was associated with a sustained low HIV incidence rate and a decreased HIV prevalence among PWID.”Share this on: