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Finding answers to injecting drug use and HIV risk in Kenya


image001What does drug use in a Kenyan village, a Rwandan community court and a UK prison have in common? Theoretically, quite a lot.

In our work to identify the reasons why people start injecting drugs in Kenya we are exploring ideas from a range of disciplines and areas of research. Heroin use is increasing as a public health challenge in Kenya. There are many ways of using heroin, with injecting being the most dangerous, mainly because of the risk of HIV; smoking, chasing or snorting heroin aren’t so dangerous. Injecting drugs is a risk for HIV when two people share the same needle to inject heroin and so create the potential for blood with HIV to be exchanged. Injecting drug use is a major aspect of the global HIV epidemic, with 3 million people who inject drugs living with HIV.

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