Open Access Research article

Prevalence and factors associated with HIV infection among injection drug users at methadone clinics in Taipei, Taiwan

Yung-Feng Yen12, Muh-Yong Yen3, Ting Lin2, Lan-Huei Li3, Xiao-Ru Jiang3, Pesus Chou2 and Chung-Yeh Deng4*

Author Affiliations

1 Section of Infectious Diseases, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei City Government, 145, Zhengzhou Rd., Datong Dist., Taipei 10341, Taiwan

2 Community Medicine Research Center and Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, 155, Section 2, Ni-Long Street, Taipei 11221, Taiwan

3 Department of Disease Control and Prevention, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei City Government, 145, Zhengzhou Rd., Datong Dist., Taipei 10341, Taiwan

4 Institute of Hospital and Health Care Administration, National Yang-Ming University, 155, Section 2, Ni-Long Street, Taipei 11221, Taiwan

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2014, 14:682  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-682

Published: 4 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Methadone treatment was introduced in Taiwan in 2006 as a harm-reduction program for injection drug users (IDUs), among whom HIV was endemic. We examined the association of HIV serostatus with demographic characteristics, substance use, and sexual behaviors among IDUs at methadone clinics in Taipei, Taiwan.

Methods

During 2012–2013, IDUs at methadone clinics in Taipei were recruited to complete a risk assessment interview and undergo serologic testing for HIV infection. Correlates of HIV infection were identified by multivariate logistic regression.

Results

Of the 827 eligible participants, 85.9% were male, median age was 45 years, and mean years of injecting was 18.0 (range 1–56). The prevalence of HIV infection was 17.7%. In multivariate analysis, HIV infection was significantly associated with age ≤45 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–2.62), being divorced (AOR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.06–2.62), deriving the majority of income during the previous 6 months from temporary jobs or other noncriminal sources (AOR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.02–2.30), unstable housing during the previous 6 months (AOR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.003–2.15), higher number of incarcerations (AOR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26), and a history of overdose (AOR = 1.51, 95% CI 1.01–2.28).

Conclusions

Taiwanese IDUs at methadone clinics have a relatively high HIV prevalence, which was associated with younger age and history of overdose. It is imperative to educate IDUs’ about HIV transmission, particularly for the younger and overdosed IDUs.

Keywords:
HIV; Taiwan; Injection drug use; Methadone