Injections for health-related reasons amongst injecting drug users in New Delhi and Imphal, India

Public Health. 2006 Jul;120(7):634-40. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.01.013. Epub 2006 Jun 5.


Objectives: In many parts of the world where unsafe injection practices in health settings are common, the prevalence of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) is high amongst injecting drug users (IDUs). If IDUs in these settings are receiving injections for health-related reasons, the possibility of amplification of BBV transmission via medical injections exists. The aim of this study is to describe the nature and extent of injections received for health-related reasons amongst IDUs in two Indian cities, New Delhi and Imphal.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 200 IDUs was conducted in late 2004. Trained peer outreach workers asked participants about health problems experienced, consultations with healthcare providers and health-related injections received in the preceding 4 weeks.

Results: Most participants (99.5%) were male, the average age was 29 years, and the average time since first injection of illicit drugs was 6 years. A total of 133 injections were received for health-related reasons during the preceding 4 weeks by 15% of the participants. The average number of injections was 8.6/participant/year.

Conclusion: Injections for health-related reasons were commonplace amongst these IDUs. Therefore, amplification of BBV transmission within communities due to unsafe injections is possible and warrants further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Injections / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous*