Implementing comprehensive HIV and HCV programmes with people who inject drugs: practical guidance for collaborative interventions

01 May 2017

The primary focus of this tool is people who inject drugs because of the particular vulnerability to HIV and HCV associated with injecting practices. However, some people who do not inject but use stimulants and other psychoactive drugs can be at high risk of contracting HIV through unprotected sex, and they are subject to structural barriers similar to those faced by people who inject drugs. Therefore, much of the information in this tool—particularly the chapters related to structural barriers and some of the health-care interventions (Chapters 1–3)—is relevant to people who use drugs in general. As noted, people who inject drugs are vulnerable not only to HIV and HCV, but also to other bloodborne viruses such as hepatitis B, as well as to sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis. For the sake of conciseness, this tool refers primarily to HIV and HCV prevention, but Chapter 3 in particular addresses the diagnosis, treatment and care of other infections to which people who inject drugs are disproportionately vulnerable.