A study found a higher prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among people who use non-injection drugs than the general public in Iran. The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

In this systematic review, which was conducted from January 2005 to May 2020, researchers assessed 17 studies with a total sample of 9,912 non-injecting drug users.

According to the results, across nine studies, the prevalence of HIV infection was 1.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9-3.1) for 2007 and afterward. The prevalence was not notably different from the estimate for the years before 2007 (0.5%; 95% CI, 0.0-2.0). No significant difference was observed among gender subgroups. The overall estimate of odds of HIV infection among individuals who reported injecting drug use was almost 6 times higher than non-injecting drug users.

The HIV prevalence among the non-injecting people who use drugs was higher than the general population in Iran,” the researchers concluded. “Targeting non-injection people who use drugs by preventive measures such as harm reduction, drug and psychoeducation, and surveillance seem to be crucial in reducing HIV prevalence in this group.”

Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34783411/

Keywords: Iran, HIV, non-injecting drug user, prevalence, systematic review