HIV infection in drug users in harm reduction structures
In Portugal, HIV infection among drug users is a priority health problem given the vulnerability of this population. Although there has been a downward trend in the number of injecting drug users in recent years, there has been a late diagnosis in HIV screening and a knowledge of the serological status of this group.
In order to reverse these results, a joint action was established between Public Health Department and the Division for Intervention in Addictive Behavior and Dependencies that aims to design a consistent intervention of HIV infection is concerned, of all users in outreach harm reduction teams, in the Northern region.
The implementation of the ADR Methodology (Counseling, Diagnosis and Referral) in the various Risk Reduction and Harm Reduction Structures, aims to facilitate access to early diagnosis of HIV / AIDS in populations users of psychoactive substances that in their majority present psychological and social vulnerability and that offer resistance in the health services of the conventional network. The proximity and the trust established with the Proximity Devices lead to a greater predisposition of these individuals in terms of adherence and, consequently, the attainment of health gains.
The present study summarizes the main results of the implementation of this program in the ERRMD in the North Region.