- Open Access
Strategic information is everyone’s business: perspectives from an international stakeholder meeting to enhance strategic information data along the HIV Cascade for people who inject drugs
© Pierce et al. 2015
- Received: 4 June 2015
- Accepted: 12 September 2015
- Published: 16 October 2015
People who inject drugs (PWID) are at increased HIV transmission risk because of unsafe injecting practices and a host of other individual, network, and structural factors. Thus, PWID have a great need for services within the Cascade of HIV prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatment (HIV Cascade). Yet the systems that monitor their progress through the Cascade are often lacking. Subsequently, fewer reliable data are available to guide programs targeting this key population (KP). Programmatic data, which are helpful in tracking PWID through the Cascade, also are limited because not all countries have harm reduction programming from which to estimate Cascade indicators. Also, due to stigma and the illegal nature of drug use, PWID may not disclose their drug use behavior or HIV status when accessing services. Consequently, PWID appear to have low HIV testing rates and, for those living with HIV, lower access to health services and lower viral suppression rates than do other KP groups. This commentary, based on outcomes from an international stakeholder meeting, identifies data gaps and proposes solutions to strengthen strategic information (SI), the systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of information, to optimize HIV prevention, care, and treatment programming for PWID.
- People who inject drugs
- Harm reduction
- Strategic information
- Key populations
- HIV Cascade
We would like to thank all meeting participants for their expert input, time, and attention. Next, we would like to acknowledge the following individuals for serving as panelists or facilitators during the meeting:
Edo Agustian, Persaudaraan Korban Napza Indonesia (PKNI)/Indonesian Drug User Network
Vladanka Andreeva, UNAIDS
Gabriela Paz Bailey, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Michael Cassell, USAID/Regional Development Mission for Asia
Anand Chabungbam, Asia Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD)
Faran Emmanuel, University of Manitoba
Lisa Johnston, independent consultant
Riku Lehtovuori, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Bradley Mathers, Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales
Stephen Mills, FHI360
To Nhu Nguyen, FHI 360/SMART-TA
Keith Sabin, UNAIDS
Tobi Saidel, Partnership for Epidemic Analysis (PEMA)
Tetiana Saliuk, AIDS Alliance Ukraine
Luke Samson, SHARAN
Katie Stone, Harm Reduction International
David Wilson, World Bank
We acknowledge Eliot Albers, the International Network of People who Use Drugs, for his technical guidance and advice and Carey Johnson for critical review of the manuscript. Last, we are grateful to the LINKAGES project staff, particularly Kevin Osborne, for their support and facilitation of this event.
This meeting and report were funded by the Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES, Cooperative Agreement AID-OAA-A-14-00045) project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This meeting and resulting report were made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID and PEPFAR. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, PEPFAR, or the United States Government.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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