People who inject drugs (PWID) experience a high burden of injection drug use-related infectious disease and challenges in accessing adequate care. This study sought to identify programmes and services in Canada addressing the prevention and management of infectious disease in PWID.
This study employed a systematic integrative review methodology. Electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL and Web of Science Core Collection) and relevant websites were searched for literature published between 2008 and 2019 (last search date was 6 June 2019). Eligible articles and documents were required to address injection or intravenous drug use and health programmes or services relating to the prevention or management of infectious diseases in Canada.
This study identified 1607 unique articles and 97 were included in this study. The health programmes and services identified included testing and management of HIV and hepatitis C virus (n=27), supervised injection facilities (n=19), medication treatment for opioid use disorder (n=12), integrated infectious disease and addiction programmes (n=10), needle exchange programmes (n=9), harm reduction strategies broadly (n=6), mobile care initiatives (n=5), peer-delivered services (n=3), management of IDU-related bacterial infections (n=2) and others (n=4). Key implications for policy, practice and future research were identified based on the results of the included studies, which include addressing individual and systemic factors that impede care, furthering evaluation of programmes and the need to provide comprehensive care to PWID, involving medical care, social support and harm reduction.
These results demonstrate the need for expanded services across a variety of settings and populations. Our study emphasises the importance of addressing social and structural factors that impede infectious disease care for PWID. Further research is needed to improve evaluation of health programmes and services and contextual factors surrounding accessing services or returning to care.