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Globally, injection drug use (IDU) remains a major cause of HIV transmission. In Malaysia, nearly half of all new HIV diagnoses are linked to IDU. The intertwined epidemics of HIV and IDU are further complicated by government policies that criminalize drug use, systematically favoring incarceration over rehabilitation. This talk will focus on findings from an ongoing prison-based, pre-release methadone program for opioid dependent, HIV-infected prisoners preparing to re-enter the community in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Jeffrey Wickersham is an Associate Research Scientist in Infectious Diseases at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Wickersham’s research focuses on primary and secondary HIV prevention among persons with substance use disorders in criminal justice settings. Specifically, his work seeks to understand the effect of gender differences in substance use etiology and drug and sex risk-taking behavior, and to develop interventions sensitive to gender-specific needs in order to improve HIV and substance dependence outcomes. His work has been published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Drug & Alcohol Dependence, and AIDS & Behavior.