Patterns of drug use and HIV-related risk behaviors among incarcerated people in a prison in Iran

Saman Zamani, Marziyeh Farnia, Alireza Torknejad, Behrouz Abbasi Alaei, Mehran Gholizadeh, Farzad Kasraee, Masako Ono-Kihara, Koji Oba, Masahiro Kihara
Journal of Urban Health 2010, 87 (4): 603-16
Previous research indicates that prisoners in Iran are at risk of drug-related harm, including acquisition of blood-borne infections. In response, several prevention interventions have been introduced into prisons in Iran, such as methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). MMT is now provided to opioid-dependent prisoners in 142 of the 230 prisons and correctional settings in Iran. A baseline behavioral survey was conducted in Karaj Central prison which mainly holds prisoners with drug-related charges. Overall, 203 male prisoners from randomly selected rooms in two prison blocks were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in 2007, just before the introduction of MMT program in this prison. Among participants, 7% reported never having used illicit drugs in their lifetime, but 51% had used non-injecting illicit drugs, and as high as 42% reported having injected an illicit drug. Up to 79% (160/203) of all participants reported using drugs, and about 6% (12/203) reported drug injecting during their current incarceration term. Same-gender sexual practice during current incarceration term was reported by 2.5% (5/203) of all male prisoners. Comparison between injecting and non-injecting drug-using prisoners indicated that drug injectors had higher rates of previous incarcerations, commenced drug use at a younger age, were more likely to have used illicit drugs in the previous week, were more likely to have been treated by a physician for drug addiction, had higher rates of registration for methadone treatment inside prison, and were more likely to have been tested for HIV infection. These study findings provide a behavioral profile of prisoners in regard to drug-related harm and can be considered in any plan to introduce or improve provision of MMT in prisons in Iran or other countries with similar features.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"