Mortality declines among people with HIV who inject drugs in Canada

published on December 24, 2017 in Healio

Recent data showed a significant reduction in all-cause mortality over the past 2 decades among people with HIV who inject drugs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The decline coincides with a scale-up of communitywide “seek-and-treat” interventions targeting hard-to-treat HIV populations beginning in 2010, according to Kanna Hayashi, PhD, MPH, associate professor at Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital, and colleagues.

“High mortality rates among people who inject drugs (PWID) living with HIV [have] been well documented, with drug overdose and HIV/AIDS-associated conditions the leading causes of death, largely as a result of suboptimal access to HIV care,” the researchers wrote in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. “However, there is scant literature examining the impact of recent efforts to expand access to ART.”

The researchers examined trends in all-cause mortality using data from the ACCESS trial, a prospective cohort study of PWID with HIV in Vancouver. Their analysis included 961 participants (36.7% women) who responded to a questionnaire assessing drug use patterns and demographic information during a baseline visit and at least one follow-up visit between May 1996 and May 2014. Data from the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency were used to analyze mortality and underlying causes of death among participants. 

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