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Barriers and facilitators of access to HIV, harm reduction and sexual and reproductive health services by women who inject drugs: role of community-based outreach and drop-in centers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
  • Sylvia Ayon
  • James Ndimbii
  • Taib Abdulrahman
  • Onesmus Mlewa
  • Bangyuan Wang
  • Allan Ragi
  • Gitau Mburu
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>AIDS Care
Issue number4
Volume30
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)480-487
Publication statusPublished
Early online date25/10/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is limited data regarding women who inject drugs, and how harm-reduction services can be made more women-centered. This study explored experiences of Kenyan women who inject drugs, with regard to access to HIV, harm reduction and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. A total of 45 women who inject drugs and 5 key stakeholders participated in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Thematic analysis of the data revealed that stigma, long distances, lack of confidentiality, user fees, multiple appointments, drug users’ unfamiliarity with health facilities, disconnect in communication with healthcare providers, and healthcare providers’ lack of understanding of women’s needs were factors that impede women’s access to health services. Community-based services, comprising of outreach and drop-in centers mitigate these barriers by building trust, educating women on their health and rights, linking women to health facilities, sensitizing health providers on the needs of women who inject drugs, and integrating women’s SRH services into community-based harm-reduction outreach. Inclusion of SRH services into community-based harm-reduction activities increased women’s interest and access to harm-reduction interventions. These findings underscore the need to strengthen community-based programming for women who inject drugs, and to integrate SRH services into needle and syringe exchange programs.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in AIDS Care on 25/10/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09540121.2017.1394965