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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Drug Policy
Title Generating trust: Programmatic strategies to reach women who inject drugs with harm reduction services in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Volume 30
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 43-51
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4829444/

Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of methadone-assisted therapy (MAT) to treat opioid dependence, reduce the risk of HIV transmission, and improve HIV related health outcomes among people who inject drugs (PWID). HIV prevalence reaches 71% in women who inject drugs (WWID) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; creating an urgent need for access to MAT. Despite the availability and potential benefits of treatment, few women have enrolled in services. This formative research sought to identify programmatic strategies to increase women’s participation in outreach and their subsequent enrollment in MAT.


We conducted twenty-five, in-depth interviews with patients and their providers at a MAT clinic. Open-ended interviews explored enrollment experiences, with a focus on contextual barriers and facilitators unique to women. Ethnographic observations of harm reduction education at outreach sites and the MAT clinic enriched interview data. Trust/mistrust emerged as an overarching theme cross cutting patient and provider accounts of the connective process to enroll PWID in the methadone program. We explore trust and mistrust in relationship to the interrelated themes of family loss, social isolation, vehement discrimination and motivation for treatment.

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