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Peer Driven Intervention (PDI) as an approach to reduce risky practices among injection drug users (IDUs) in Ukraine

Author(s): Vasylyeva, Tetyana | Andreeva, Tatiana | Smyrnov, Pavlo

Journal: Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe
ISSN 2222-2693

Volume: 2;
Issue: S1;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Peer Driven Intervention | injection drug users | risky injection and sexual behavior

BACKGROUND: Ukraine has the most severe HIV epidemic in Europe. There is an urgent need to improve the effectiveness of the preventive measures to stop further spread of the epidemic. PDI was implemented as an alternative to traditional outreach work in educating IDUs and reducing their injection and sexual risky practices.METHODS: The first wave of the intervention was implemented in 8 cities of Ukraine in November 2008 - June 2009, the second – in 2 cities of Ukraine in December 2009 - June 2010. The follow-up of both waves was conducted in August 2010 - January 2011. Two interviews (during the first/second wave and follow-up) with questions regarding sociodemographic information, drug use, risk-related behavior, knowledge about safer drug injection, overdose, sexual behavior, questions related to health and HIV-testing, and financial questions were performed with participants. After the interview, participants were educated about safer drug use practices and HIV. SPSS analysis was conducted to see whether participants’ risky injection and sexual practices changed to safer. Cross-tabulation and McNemar statistics test were used as a primary way of data analysis.RESULTS: Total number of 3054 participants were covered by first/second wave and follow-up (72.9% men). Both injection and sexual risky practices showed significant change between first (first/second wave) and second (follow-up) interviews: participants reported less using other’s previously used syringe (decrease from 15,2% to 11,0%), always filling syringe from the shared container (30,6% to 28,4%), always buying drug in pre-filled syringe (10,3 to 9,2%), never using condoms during sexual intercourse in previous 30 days (31,9% to 27,7%).CONCLUSION: The first analysis shows that those who participated in PDI were likely to report safer behavior after the follow-up period than during the first interview. Further analysis will be focused on the stratification participants by different factors to define which groups were affected more.
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