A study to assess the awareness and behavioural change in injecting drug users
Arushi Mishra, Preety Pathak
Introduction: In the present era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the incidence of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses continues to remain high, with certain socio demo graphic groups experiencing increased rates of HIV compared to the general population. Sharing of needles and unprotected sexual contact are two high-risk behaviours that increase HIV transmission among injection drug users (IDUs). Aim: This study was conducted to analyse the impact of participatory communication on HIV preventive behaviour among IDUs. Materials and Methods: The study was done in the district of Lucknow among the Injecting Drug Users. The group of 50 IDU was selected according to the stratified sampling technique. These IDU’s were then approached and called at the Targeted Intervention (TI) site for their first session. They were given an introductory session after which 5 group were made of 10 IDU each. These IDU’s were assigned dates and each group was supposed to meet the team every day for 2-3 hours. Result: The mean age of IDU was 37.2 + 5.4 years. Majority of the participants (61%) were in the age group of 30-40 years. Majority of subjects (51%) were educated up to the primary education level whereas nearly 29% were illiterate. Only 19.6% of subjects were having regular employment while a vast majority (66.7%) had no regular employment. The subjects were ignorant about the modes of transmission of HIV and the mean score was as low as 2.25. Discussion: This study shows, how effectively a behavioural modification can be obtained with communication in different forms. HIV has become a global epidemic and needs our attention at the earliest. For the people who are considered to be the high-risk groups; they should be educated about the various methods of transmission and how it can be prevented.