Drugs, HIV Treatment and Harm Reduction Services for Afghan Refugees in Iran


avatar Roya Noori 1 , * , avatar Abbas Deylamizade 2

Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran
Division of Drug Use Research, Department of Addiction Studies, Rebirth Society, Tehran, IR Iran

how to cite: Noori R, Deylamizade A. Drugs, HIV Treatment and Harm Reduction Services for Afghan Refugees in Iran. Int J High Risk Behav Addict. 2017;6(1):e29340. https://doi.org/10.5812/ijhrba.29340.


In Western Asia, Afghan refugees constitute one of the main vulnerable populations with drug and HIV treatment needs. However, there is not considerable provision of drug and HIV services for this group. The study aimed to describe the provision of drug treatment and harm reduction services for Afghan refugees in Iran, the most populous Persian Gulf country. With the collaboration of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Tehran, Iran, a project was conducted by Rebirth Society in 2010 to provide free drug and HIV treatment and harm reduction services. Two drop-in-centers were allocated to the project. Six outreach peer members and four staff members were trained. Data were collected by a checklist and analyzed by SPSS version 18. Eighty-one Afghan refugees were admitted. All of them were drug users and needed HIV services. Drug treatments such as methadone maintenance treatment and therapeutic community services were provided. In addition, harm reduction programs such as condom education and distribution, HIV/AIDS education, voluntary counseling and testing, and needle and syringe programs were implemented. The project was an important step in the provision of drug and HIV services for Afghan refugees. Designing and providing long-term related services are suggested.


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