NIDA International SPR Poster Session:Health Education Focusing on Venerable Youth Population and Awareness Raising of Safer Injecting Practices on New Injectors and Non-Injectors Are Essential Needs to Achieve Better Outcomes of Reducing HIV Transmission

This abstract was presented at the 2018 Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting which was held May 29 – June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC, US.

Rosie Myint Myanmar Anti-Narcotics Association

Wah Wah Lwin Myanmar Anti Narcotics Association

Background: Myanmar is one of the 35 countries accounting for 90% of new HIV infections globally. Data from HIV Sentinel Sero-Surveillance 2014 (HSS) indicates that the prevalence in among key populations was Female Sex Worker (FSW) 6.3%, Man Sex with Man (MSM) 6.6% and People Who Inject Drug (PWID) 23.1%. The high prevalence among PWID, relative to the other key population, indicates the high HIV risks associated with injecting drug use and HIV vulnerability among young PWID. 

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 data was entered into the computers using the SPSS V.20 and was analysed using simple statistical tools, such as scale and frequency distribution. 

Results: In this study, the respondents (n=2338) were aged between 15 to 83 years with median age of 33 years. The most frequent age group was ‘25 to 34 years’ and more than 1 in ten respondents were 15-24 years old. One third of the respondents started injecting before their 24thbirthday and 4.3% of respondents started before the age of 18. Only 5.9% of PWIDs in this study reported of sharing needles at their last drug injection. Among those who shared needles, the respondents with above the secondary level education were less likely to share needles at last injection, compare to primary and lower or illiterates (p=0.009). In the study, the usage of ATS before sexual activity is more common among the married respondents (p=0.001). Those who started injecting after 26 years were also higher chance of using ATS (p=0.002) and those who started sex before 20 years were also five times more likely to use ATS (p=0.001). 

Conclusion: While comparing with the previous year’s study it was seen that the number of respondents younger than 24 years was increased in this year. This might be also due to increase in number of sample but it needs to be aware that more and more youths started using drugs at young age and health education activities targeting specifically to general and vulnerable young people should be carefully designed to have more impact to reduce drug use among young people. The awareness raising session on safer injecting practices should focus more on those respondents with higher risk behaviours.

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