Epidemics of HIV, HCV and syphilis infection among synthetic drugs only users, heroin-only users and poly-drug users in Southwest China

Shu Su, Limin Mao, Jinxian Zhao, Liang Chen, Jun Jing, Feng Cheng, Lei Zhang

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The number of poly-drug users who mix use heroin and synthetic drugs (SD) is increasing worldwide. The objective of this study is to measure the risk factors for being infected with hepatitis C (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis among SD-only users, heroin-only users and poly-drug users. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015 from a national HIV surveillance site in Southwest China, 447 poly-drug, 526 SD-only and 318 heroin-only users were recruited. Poly-drug users have higher drug-use frequency, higher rates of drug-sharing and unsafe sexual acts than other users (p < 0.05). About a third (36.7%) of poly-drug users experienced sexual arousal due to drug effects, which is higher than the rate among other drug users. Poly-drug users had the highest prevalence of HIV (10.5%) and syphilis (3.6%), but heroin-only users had the highest prevalence of HCV (66.0%) (all p < 0.05) among three groups. Logistic regression shows among poly-drug users, having sex following drug consumption and using drugs ≥1/day were the major risk factors for both HIV (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.4, 95% CI [1.8-3.4]; 2.3, [1.6-3.1]) and syphilis infection (AOR = 4.1, [2.1-6.9]; 3.9, [1.8-5.4]). Elevated risk of both HIV and syphilis infection have been established among poly-drug users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6615
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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