HIV treatment, antiretroviral adherence and AIDS mortality in people who inject drugs: A scoping review


BACKGROUND: People who inject drugs (PWID) are a key population for the prevention and care of HIV infection. METHODS: This scoping review covers recent (post-2010) systematic reviews on engagement of PWID in sequential stages of HIV care from uptake, to achieving viral suppression, and to avoiding AIDS-related mortality. RESULTS: We found that data on engagement of PWID into antiretroviral therapy (ART) were particularly scarce, but generally indicated very low engagement in ART. Studies of adherence and achieving viral suppression showed varying results, with PWID sometimes doing as well as other patient groups. The severity of social, medical and psychiatric disability in this population poses significant treatment challenges and leads to a marked gap in AIDS mortality between PWID and other population groups. CONCLUSIONS: Given the multi-level barriers, it will be difficult to reach current targets (UNAIDS fast-track targets of 95-95-95) for ART for PWID in many locations. We suggest giving priority to reducing the likelihood that HIV seropositive PWID will transmit HIV to others and reducing morbidity and mortality from HIV infection and from other comorbidities.


Uusk├╝la A, Feelemyer J, des Jarlais DC




  • Population(s)
    • People who use drugs
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs


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