An arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has funneled more than $2 million into an HIV study that includes promoting the use of condoms for intravenous drug users in Kazakhstan.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health, funded the study for $676,058 in 2008, $670,914 in 2009, and $670,212 in 2010, according to CNSNews.com.
The study is the brainchild of Columbia University professor Nabila El-Bassel, who proposed it to test a couples-based regimen to decrease new cases of HIV and Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections, as well as to reduce unsafe injection practices and increase condom use among injecting drug users (IDUs) and their heterosexual, intimate partners in Shu, Kazakhstan,” CNSNews.com reported Tuesday.
One reason for picking Shu is that it is along a major drug-trafficking route in the central Asian country, el-Bassel says in the study’s narrative. CNSNews.com also quotes a Central Intelligence Agency profile on Kazakhstan saying that the country is a “transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe,” and a “significant consumer of opiates.”
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