AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 2490–2500 | Cite as

HIV Among Injection Drug Users and Their Intimate Partners in Almaty, Kazakhstan

  • Nabila El-BasselEmail author
  • Louisa Gilbert
  • Assel Terlikbayeva
  • Elwin Wu
  • Chris Beyrer
  • Stacey Shaw
  • Tim Hunt
  • Xin Ma
  • Mingway Chang
  • Leyla Ismayilova
  • Marat Tukeyev
  • Baurzhan Zhussupov
  • Yelena Rozental
Original Paper


This paper examines prevalence rates of HIV, HCV, and syphilis among a sample of injecting drug users (IDUs) and their heterosexual intimate partners (N = 728) from Almaty, Kazakhstan. The study uses baseline data from Project Renaissance, a couple-based HIV prevention intervention delivered to a couple where one or both partners are IDUs. HIV prevalence rates among female and male IDUs were 28 %. Among the full sample, 75 % had HCV, and 13 % tested positive for the syphilis antibody test. Only 10 % of the sample ever visited a needle exchange program. One-fourth (25.3 %) had never been tested for HIV. One-quarter of those who tested positive were unaware of their status. Being HIV positive was associated with a history of incarceration, being an IDU, and having access to needle exchange programs. The findings call for increasing efforts to improve access to HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and care for IDUs in Almaty, Kazakhstan.


Injecting drug use HIV Central Asia 



The study was funded to Dr. El-Bassel by the National Institute of Drug Abuse grant # R01 DA022914-01A2. We would like to acknowledge the study participants who shared their time and their experiences with Project Renaissance. We would also like to thank project staff members, Saltanat Yegeubayeva in particular, who assisted with recruitment, data collection, and project implementation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabila El-Bassel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Louisa Gilbert
    • 1
  • Assel Terlikbayeva
    • 1
  • Elwin Wu
    • 1
  • Chris Beyrer
    • 2
  • Stacey Shaw
    • 1
  • Tim Hunt
    • 1
  • Xin Ma
    • 1
  • Mingway Chang
    • 1
  • Leyla Ismayilova
    • 3
  • Marat Tukeyev
    • 4
  • Baurzhan Zhussupov
    • 1
  • Yelena Rozental
    • 1
  1. 1.Global Health Research Center of Central AsiaColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Public Health and Human RightsJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.School of Social Service AdministrationUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Kazakhstan National AIDS CenterAlmatyKazakhstan

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