Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Is the Most Essential Intervention among People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) to Achieve Reduction HIV Transmission through Pwid to Others in Myanmar

Rosie Myint, Wah Wah Lwin

Background: There is a sustained downward trend in HIV prevalence among the sentinel groups which include People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) reflecting the effectiveness of programme for safer sexual behaviors and harm reduction in Myanmar. Data collected by the IBBS among PWID at 16 sites in 2014 found HIV prevalence in this group to be 28.3%. It was higher than global average prevalence of 13.1% in PWID by UNODC. Anti-retroviral treatment has covered 139 ART centers sites including government hospitals and AIDS/STD clinics in public sectors. However, it should not be assumed that PWID will achieve greater access to ART unless stigma and discrimination. PWIDs are hidden population and hard to reach the HIV comprehensive prevention, treatment and care services.

Objectives: To gain knowledge on contextual factors which are important for evidence informed programming and understand the more detail context of risk behaviors among drug users.

Methodology: The study employed structured questionnaires and selection of informants was carried out using a systematic random sampling technique with the predetermined number among contacted drug users at each site during concerning year. The assessment team randomly selected 2,000 drug users from list of clients contacted at 10 project DICs of Myanmar Anti- Narcotics Association (MANA) and more than 25% of the respondents were youth (15-24) years. The fieldwork started from October 2014 and was completed by February 2015.

Result: The respondents (n=1946) could elaborate the ways of transmission and how to prevent. Among those who injected previous 6 months (n=1484), nearly 95 %( n =1781) had never used the used needle. 84.1% of them (n=1636) got blood test voluntarily within previous year. Among them 19.4% (n=318) got positive result and 33% of them (n=105) were received the referral services for ART. Only 6.3% (n=91) of the respondents who got positive results received ART treatment services within previous 6 months were reported.

Conclusions: This study could be translated as the needs of collaboration efforts in the implementation level to achieve better outcome of the harm reduction program. Developing capacities of services providers and counselors is important. ART treatment services should be expanded significantly to achieve a meaningful reduction in new HIV infections among PWID and their partners.

This abstract was submitted to the 2017 Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting. 

Research Language


Myanmar (Burma)
Partner Organisation