AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 12, pp 2347–2357 | Cite as

HIV Prevalence Among People Who Inject Drugs in Greater Kuala Lumpur Recruited Using Respondent-Driven Sampling

  • Alexander R. Bazazi
  • Forrest Crawford
  • Alexei Zelenev
  • Robert Heimer
  • Adeeba Kamarulzaman
  • Frederick L. Altice
Original Paper


The HIV epidemic in Malaysia is concentrated among people who inject drugs (PWID). Accurate estimates of HIV prevalence are critical for developing appropriate treatment and prevention interventions for PWID in Malaysia. In 2010, 461 PWID were recruited using respondent-driven sampling in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants completed rapid HIV testing and behavioral assessments. Estimates of HIV prevalence were computed for each of the three recruitment sites and the overall sample. HIV prevalence was 15.8 % (95 % CI 12.5–19.2 %) overall but varied widely by location: 37.0 % (28.6–45.4 %) in Kampung Baru, 10.3 % (5.0–15.6 %) in Kajang, and 6.3 % (3.0–9.5 %) in Shah Alam. Recruitment extended to locations far from initial interview sites but was concentrated around discrete geographic regions. We document the high prevalence of HIV among PWID in Greater Kuala Lumpur. Sustained support for community surveillance and HIV prevention interventions is needed to stem the HIV epidemic among PWID in Malaysia.


HIV prevalence People who inject drugs Malaysia Surveillance Respondent-driven sampling 


La epidemia del VIH en Malasia se concentra en consumidores de drogas inyectables (CDI). Las estimaciones precisas de la prevalencia del VIH son esenciales para desarrollar intervenciones eficaces para el tratamiento y prevención del VIH. En 2010, 461 CDI se reclutaron por un muestreo dirigido por entrevistadores en Kuala Lumpur, Malasia. Los participantes se sometieron a la prueba del VIH y a una encuesta conductual. Se estimó la prevalencia del VIH para cada uno de los tres lugares de reclutamiento y la para muestra total. La prevalencia total del VIH fue 15.8 % (95 % CI 12.5–19.2 %), pero se presentaron grandes diferencias entre los tres lugares: 37.0 % (28.6–45.4 %) en Kampung Baru, 10.3 % (5.0–15.6 %) en Kajang, y 6.3 % (3.0–9.5 %) en Shah Alam. El reclutamiento alcanzó lugares lejos de los sitios de entrevista originales pero se concentró alrededor de unos regiones. Documentamos una alta prevalencia del VIH entre los CDI en Kuala Lumpur. El apoyo sostenido para la vigilancia del VIH en la comunidad y las intervenciones de la prevención del VIH es necesario para detener la epidemia de VIH en Malasia.



This work was supported by NIH career development (FLA: NIDA K24 DA017072, AZ: NIDA K01 DA037826, FC: NCATS KL2 TR000140), research (NIDA FLA, AK: NIDA R01 DA032106, FC: NIMH/CIRA P30MH062294), and training (ARB: T32 GM07205, NIMH T32 MH020031, NIDA F30 DA039716) Grants as well as University Malaya’s High Impact Research Grant (AK: E-000001-20001) and the Yale Downs Fellowship (ARB). OraSure Technologies, Inc. provided discounted rapid HIV tests. Funders had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Supplementary material

10461_2015_1191_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (826 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 826 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology of Microbial DiseasesYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA), Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS ProgramYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Infectious Diseases Unit, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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