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Review of Injection Drug Use in Six African Countries: Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania

NCJ Number
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2006 Pages: 121-137
Sarah Dewing; Andreas Pluddemann; Bronwyn J. Myers; Charles D. H. Parry
Date Published
April 2006
17 pages
A literature review is conducted on injection drug use (IDU) in the African countries of Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.
Where available information contradicts the predominant view that injection drug use (IDU) is rare to non-existent in most African countries, injection drug users within select countries are shown as engaging in high-risk sexual and injecting behaviors, leading to the potential spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent. A literature review indicates the common occurrence of high-risk behavior, such as needle sharing and unsafe sex within the IDU population surveyed. The authors of this article recommend that education and awareness that pertain to IDU risks be increased, and that IDU be included in national HIV-education campaigns in Africa. National harm-reduction policies need to be developed, and needle exchange programs need to be tested and evaluated. The authors also note that the political will and support from leadership would be required for programs to be put into action. Information about this epidemic should be shared via accessible media and other forums. Tables, references


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