People who inject drugs (PWIDs) are a key population targeted in global efforts to increase HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) diagnosis, linkage to care, and treatment retention. Colombia has experienced a significant increase in the incidence of HIV and HCV attributed to the alarming rise in injection drug use. The primary aim of this study was to identify factors influencing access to HIV and HCV care among PWIDs. Survey domains consisted of (1) sociodemographic characteristics; (2) history of HIV-HCV testing and infection status; (3) the 13-item questionnaire developed by Awad and colleagues to explore barriers to HIV and HCV testing, (4) the Barriers to Medical Care questionnaire; and (5) the Risk Assessment Battery. A total of 171 subjects completed the survey. A high proportion of participants reported past year testing for HIV (87%) and HCV (72.8%). However, most respondents elicited numerous barriers to obtaining information, referrals, and insurance coverage for accessing HIV and/or HCV care. Further studies are needed to identify scalable public health measures to overcome these barriers.
Barriers to HIV and hepatitis C care for people who inject drugs in Colombia