Barriers and missed opportunities to HIV testing among injection drug users in two Mexico--US border cities.

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS:Despite increasing HIV prevalence in cities along the Mexico--US border, HIV testing among high-risk populations remains low. We sought to identify barriers associated with HIV testing among injection drug users (IDUs) in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, the two largest Mexican border cities located across from San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas, respectively. DESIGN AND METHODS:In 2005, 222 IDUs in Tijuana and 205 IDUs in Ciudad Juarez were recruited by respondent-driven sampling and administered a questionnaire to collect socio-demographic, behavioural and HIV testing history data. Blood samples were provided for serological testing of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and syphilis. RESULTS:Only 38% and 30% of respondents in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, respectively, had ever had an HIV test. The factors independently associated with never having been tested for HIV differed between the two sites, except for lack of knowledge on HIV transmission, which was independently associated in both locales. Importantly, 65% of those who had never been tested for HIV in both cities experienced at least one missed opportunity for voluntary testing, including medical visits, drug treatment and spending time in jail. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:Among this high-risk IDU population we found HIV testing to be low, with voluntary testing in public and private settings utilised inadequately. These findings underscore the need to expand voluntary HIV education and testing and to integrate it into services and locales frequented by IDUs in these Mexico--US border cities.

journal_name

Drug Alcohol Rev

journal_title

Drug and alcohol review

authors

Moyer LB,Brouwer KC,Brodine SK,Ramos R,Lozada R,Cruz MF,Magis-Rodriguez C,Strathdee SA

doi

10.1080/09595230701710845

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2008-01-01 00:00:00

pages

39-45

issue

1

eissn

0959-5236

issn

1465-3362

pii

787035032

journal_volume

27

pub_type

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