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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Title Evidence of injection drug use in Kisumu, Kenya: Implications for HIV prevention
Volume 151
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 262-266
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447587/

Injection drug use is increasingly contributing to the HIV epidemic across sub-Saharan Africa. This paper provides the first descriptive analysis of injection drug use in western Kenya, where HIV prevalence is already highest in the nation at 15.1%.


We draw on quantitative data from a study of injection drug use in Kisumu, Kenya. We generated descriptive statistics on socio-demographics, sexual characteristics, and drug-related behaviors. Logistic regression models were adjusted for sex to identify correlates of self-reported HIV positive status.


Of 151 participants, mean age was 28.8 years, 84% (n=127) were male, and overall self-reported HIV prevalence reached 19.4%. Women had greater than four times the odds of being HIV positive relative to men (Odds Ratio [OR] 4.5, CI: 1.7, 11.8, p=.003). Controlling for sex, ever experiencing STI symptoms (Adjusted Odds ratio [AOR] 4.6, 95% CI 1.7, 12.0, p=.002) and sharing needles or syringes due to lack of access (AOR 3.6, 95% CI 1.2, 10.5, p=.02) were significantly associated with HIV positive status. Lower education (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 0.9, 5.6, p=.08), trading sex for drugs (AOR 2.8, 95% CI 0.9, 8.8, p=.08), being injected by a peddler (AOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.0, 8.5, p=.05), and injecting heroin (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0, 5.7, p=.06), were marginally associated with HIV.


This exploratory study identified patterns of unsafe drug injection and concurrent sexual risk in western Kenya, yet few resources are currently available to address addiction or injection-related harm. Expanded research, surveillance, and gender sensitive programming are needed.

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