HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors and Correlates of Injection Drug Use among Drug Users in Pakistan

Mohammad Abrar Ahmed, Tariq Zafar, Heena Brahmbhatt, Ghazanfar Imam, Salman Ul Hassan, Joseph C. Bareta, Steffanie A. Strathdee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We studied prevalence and correlates of injection drug use, awareness of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and risky behaviors among drug users serviced by a nongovernmental organization catering to drug users in three Pakistani cities (Quetta, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify correlates of injection drug use. Of 608 drug users, 99.8% were male; median age was 32 years, and 44% were married. Most (79.8%) were Pakistani; 15.3% were Afghani. The majority used heroin (98.7%), mostly by inhalation; 15.2% injected drugs. Only 41% had heard of HIV/AIDS, and 30% had been paid for donating blood. Injection drug use and needle sharing were highest in Quetta. Injecting drug users (IDUs) were nearly twice as likely to have donated blood and to have heard about HIV/AIDS compared to other drug users. Interventions to discourage transitions to injection, increase HIV testing, and safeguard the blood supply in Pakistan are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Afghanistan
  • Blood donation
  • Heroin
  • Injection drug use
  • Pakistan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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