India has a large injection drug user (IDU) population estimated at 177,000 nationally with an HIV prevalence of 7.2 percent. Historically, the presence of IDU populations and associated HIV infection was concentrated in the northeastern states of the country. Recent evidence documents IDU populations in other parts of the country. Delhi has an estimated 17,000 IDUs and the second highest HIV prevalence in India at 18.3 percent. The probability of becoming infected with HIV after using an infected syringe ranges from 0.34 percent to 1.4 percent. By comparison, the risk for hepatitis C (HCV) ranges from 1.5 percent to 5 percent. Several studies have documented high prevalence of HIV-HCV co-infection among IDUs in the high HIV prevalence states of India, but there is little evidence from the low HIV prevalence states in the country. The Population Council and partners implemented a project to avert HIV infections among IDUs and their sexual partners in Delhi. As part of the project evaluation, an assessment of the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, and HCV infection was conducted in a cohort of male IDUs in Delhi. This document presents a research update.
Saraswati, Lopamudra, Mary Philip Sebastian, Avina Sarna, Vartika Sharma, Ira Madan, Dean Lewis, Ibou Thior, and Waimar Tun. 2013. "Prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B and C, and co-infection in a cohort of male injection drug users in Delhi," Research update. New Delhi: Population Council.
Averting HIV Infections Among People Who Inject Drugs: The AVHI Project