Event Title

Prevalence of Hepatitis C among People who inject drug in Kosovo 2018

Session

Medicine and Nursing

Description

Background In an effort to fully analyse and understand the HCV situation and its epidemiology in Kosovo, a multilateral collaboration between different local and international institutions resulted in the establishment of an effective second-generation surveillance (SGS) system for HIV/AIDS between 2006 and 2018 in accordance with the published guidelines. The goal of the Integrated Biological and Behavioural Survey 2018 was to gather strategic information regarding Second Generation of HIV surveillance for better advocacy, planning, and design of future prevention programs.

Methods A mapping exercise was initially conducted in 2016 for size estimations of the key populations: people who inject drugs (PWIDs), followed by an Integrated Behavioral and Biological Surveillance in 19 selected cities across Kosovo.

Results A total number of 458 PWID were interviewed from 6 different municipalities during the study period. Following are the key findings:

  • · Of the 458 PWIDs who participated in the study, 399 (87%) were males, while only 59 females were interviewed.
  • · The average age was 32.7 ± 9.2 years, with approximately half of the PWIDs up to 30 years old.
  • · The average monthly income for all PWID was reported to be 299 ± 298 euros.
  • · Average age when they started injecting drugs was 21.7 years. Females at a slighter younger age in comparison to males.
  • · Nearly half of the PWIDs surveyed (46.5%) reported injecting once daily with no significant differences between males and females.
  • · Streets, Homes and shooting galleries were the most common places where participating PWID injected.
  • · Less than 20% of PWID reported sharing syringes or any of the injecting equipment; friends being the most common people whom they shared with.
  • · Heroine (67.5%) and methadone (71.6%) were the most common drugs injected in the last 6 months.
  • · Nearly 90% of the PWID interviewed informed that they injected at least twice a day
  • · A high proportion (97.6%) reported use of a new/sterile syringe for the last injection.
  • · Thirty-three percent informed that they overdosed themselves with drugs to the point of losing consciousness, while 24% were treated in a hospital/medical centre.
  • · Nearly half of the PWID informed that they had been ever treated for drug addiction.
  • · Average age at first sexual intercourse was reported to be 16.4 ± 1.9 years.
  • · Overall 77% PWID informed that they hadn’t had sex in the last 6 months.
  • · Nearly 6% PWID reported having sex with a sex worker in the last 6 months.
  • · The average number of sex partners was reported to be 2.0 ±1.7 in the last six months.
  • · Only 14.7% always used a condom (lower in female PWID (9.5%), while 43% rarely or never used a condom.
  • · Nearly 10% informed that they sold sex for money.
  • · A very high proportion of PWIDs had the correct knowledge of sexual transmission and sharp instruments as the routes of HIV transmission however very few knew that used syringes (19%) could spread HIV
  • · Nearly 70% knew a place to get tested for HIV, while 63% got tested, and 96% of those who got tested knew their test results.
  • · Almost 80% knew of HIV prevention programs and services in their area, while nearly two-thirds actually utilized them.
  • · Program Services mostly utilized were free syringes (48%), counselling and education (36.5%) and VCT for HIV (24%).
  • · None of the PWID who participated in the study were tested positive for HIV
  • · HCV testing showed an overall prevalence of 23.8%, with varying prevalence rates among Municipalities, which ranged between 50% in Mitrovice to 17.3% in Ferizaj. Conclusions Results of HCV testing showed an overall prevalence of 23.8%, with varying prevalence rates among Municipalities, which ranged between 50% in Mitrovice to 17.3% in Ferizaj. The results of HCV testing does hint to the parenteral transmission of HCV which is due to sharing of syringes and injecting equipment.

Keywords:

PWID, HCV, Kosovo

Session Chair

Xhevat Kurhasani

Session Co-Chair

Valdete Alidema Serreqi

Proceedings Editor

Edmond Hajrizi

ISBN

978-9951-550-19-2

Location

Pristina, Kosovo

Start Date

26-10-2019 1:30 PM

End Date

26-10-2019 3:00 PM

DOI

10.33107/ubt-ic.2019.303

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Oct 26th, 1:30 PM Oct 26th, 3:00 PM

Prevalence of Hepatitis C among People who inject drug in Kosovo 2018

Pristina, Kosovo

Background In an effort to fully analyse and understand the HCV situation and its epidemiology in Kosovo, a multilateral collaboration between different local and international institutions resulted in the establishment of an effective second-generation surveillance (SGS) system for HIV/AIDS between 2006 and 2018 in accordance with the published guidelines. The goal of the Integrated Biological and Behavioural Survey 2018 was to gather strategic information regarding Second Generation of HIV surveillance for better advocacy, planning, and design of future prevention programs.

Methods A mapping exercise was initially conducted in 2016 for size estimations of the key populations: people who inject drugs (PWIDs), followed by an Integrated Behavioral and Biological Surveillance in 19 selected cities across Kosovo.

Results A total number of 458 PWID were interviewed from 6 different municipalities during the study period. Following are the key findings:

  • · Of the 458 PWIDs who participated in the study, 399 (87%) were males, while only 59 females were interviewed.
  • · The average age was 32.7 ± 9.2 years, with approximately half of the PWIDs up to 30 years old.
  • · The average monthly income for all PWID was reported to be 299 ± 298 euros.
  • · Average age when they started injecting drugs was 21.7 years. Females at a slighter younger age in comparison to males.
  • · Nearly half of the PWIDs surveyed (46.5%) reported injecting once daily with no significant differences between males and females.
  • · Streets, Homes and shooting galleries were the most common places where participating PWID injected.
  • · Less than 20% of PWID reported sharing syringes or any of the injecting equipment; friends being the most common people whom they shared with.
  • · Heroine (67.5%) and methadone (71.6%) were the most common drugs injected in the last 6 months.
  • · Nearly 90% of the PWID interviewed informed that they injected at least twice a day
  • · A high proportion (97.6%) reported use of a new/sterile syringe for the last injection.
  • · Thirty-three percent informed that they overdosed themselves with drugs to the point of losing consciousness, while 24% were treated in a hospital/medical centre.
  • · Nearly half of the PWID informed that they had been ever treated for drug addiction.
  • · Average age at first sexual intercourse was reported to be 16.4 ± 1.9 years.
  • · Overall 77% PWID informed that they hadn’t had sex in the last 6 months.
  • · Nearly 6% PWID reported having sex with a sex worker in the last 6 months.
  • · The average number of sex partners was reported to be 2.0 ±1.7 in the last six months.
  • · Only 14.7% always used a condom (lower in female PWID (9.5%), while 43% rarely or never used a condom.
  • · Nearly 10% informed that they sold sex for money.
  • · A very high proportion of PWIDs had the correct knowledge of sexual transmission and sharp instruments as the routes of HIV transmission however very few knew that used syringes (19%) could spread HIV
  • · Nearly 70% knew a place to get tested for HIV, while 63% got tested, and 96% of those who got tested knew their test results.
  • · Almost 80% knew of HIV prevention programs and services in their area, while nearly two-thirds actually utilized them.
  • · Program Services mostly utilized were free syringes (48%), counselling and education (36.5%) and VCT for HIV (24%).
  • · None of the PWID who participated in the study were tested positive for HIV
  • · HCV testing showed an overall prevalence of 23.8%, with varying prevalence rates among Municipalities, which ranged between 50% in Mitrovice to 17.3% in Ferizaj. Conclusions Results of HCV testing showed an overall prevalence of 23.8%, with varying prevalence rates among Municipalities, which ranged between 50% in Mitrovice to 17.3% in Ferizaj. The results of HCV testing does hint to the parenteral transmission of HCV which is due to sharing of syringes and injecting equipment.