Impact of funding harm reduction programs for people who inject drugs in Mexico

Marisol Valenzuela-Lara, Marisol Ponce-Ramos, Karen Ruiz-Herrera, Agustín López-González

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2019.021

Abstract


Introduction. Despite evidence from harm reduction programs, there are limited data on their impact in Mexico. The Mexican National HIV Program has supported harm reduction programs implemented by community-based organizations both financially and technically.

Objective. To obtain an estimate of HIV infections averted from 2015 to 2018.

Method. A deterministic model was developed to estimate the number of infections, with harm reduction projects financed by CENSIDA and implemented by Community-Based Organizations, using data reported from the period 2015 to 2018. The benefit was obtained by estimating the costs of providing prevention programs and comparing the latter to the costs of providing care.

Results. An analysis of 66,973 people included in harm reduction programs showed that an estimated 869 HIV infections were averted between 2015 and 2018. Potential savings obtained by providing these harm reduction services exceeded over $600,000 Mexican pesos for every infection averted.

Discussion and conclusion. Harm reduction services play a key role in reducing the incidence of HIV in Mexico. Ensuring their financing is necessary since, combined with other services, they are a cost-effective tool for reducing the economic and public health burden of HIV/AIDS.

Keywords


People who inject drugs; harm reduction; HIV

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References


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