Pattern of Substance Abuse and Prevalence of Risk Factors of HIV and Hepatitis among Addicted Women in Western Iran

Behrooz Hamzeh, Zeinab Moradi, Farid Najaf, Mehdi Moradinazar


Background: Women are the frst victims in most of social damages and corruptions. However, due to some social and cultural reasons, the most of the drug addiction studies in Iran target male population. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the pattern of substance abuse and prevalence of HIV and hepatitis risk factors among addicted women.

Methods: This is a cross‑sectional study conducted on women referred to methadone maintenance treatment centers of Western Iran (Kermanshah province). Data were collected through interview by a psychologist who is working full time in the centers.

Results: A total of 138 addicted women were studied. Among whom, 50
individuals were aged >45 years old (36.2%), 135 individuals (97.8%) had a history of substance abuse in their family, and 66 individuals (40.5%) initiated drug use before age 20. The most common substances were opium and crack with a proportion of 76.8% and 9.4%, respectively. Prevalence of positive HIV and hepatitis B among addicted women were 18.8% (26 persons) and
5.0% (7persons), respectively. Three (2.1%) of addicted women with HIV also had HBV. The most commonly HIV transmission were drug injections (30.7%) and unprotected sex (11.5%).

Conclusions: Although women do not constitute a signifcant part of substance abuse, increasing trend of women addiction, on one hand, and high prevalence of risk factors related to HIV or hepatitis in women, on the other hand; show that offcials and experts are required to seriously consider prevention and harm reduction programs for women.

Keywords: Addicted women, addictive, behavior, methadone maintenance treatment, methadone,
substance abuse, substance‑related disorders

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