While much of the world is seeing declines in new HIV infections, the HIV epidemic in sub saharn Africa continues to expand. The HIV epidemic continues to be concentrated among people who inject drugs (PWID), the population severely affected by HIV worldwide and especially in Africa. Of the estimated 12.7 million (range from 8.9 to 22.4 million) PWID worldwide, 13.1% or 1.7 million (range from 0.9 to 4.8 million) live with HIV. The HIV prevalence among PWID is particularly high especially in the slum urban areas.

While the burden of injection drug use and the burden of HIV among PWID is heavy generally, harm reduction services are inadequate for an effective HIV prevention among PWID in most countries. Few countries achieve the recommended 200 sterile syringes per PWID per year. Most of the countries, including those considered middle or higher-income countries are way below the recommended “200” coverage level.

UHRN invites partners in effort to combat high HIV prevalence among PWIDs