Risk assessment of drug users in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Although HIV in mainland Tanzania is characterised as a generalised epidemic, there is evidence that injecting drug use is contributing to high rates of HIV transmission among drug using groups.

In 2011, Médicins du Monde – France (MdM-F) conducted a rapid assessment and response (RAR) to identify and understand the main health risk behaviours, health care needs, and HIV and HCV prevalence of people who inject drugs (PWIDs) and other drug users in Temeke District, in order to inform an adapted operational response through the MdM-F harm reduction program.

Burnet Institute undertook a consultancy for MdM-F to analyse the quantitative data and prepare the report and recommendations.

The RAR was divided into three phases:

  • A short qualitative assessment included interviews with key informants and drug users, ethnographic observations, and meetings with local and national stakeholders. Results informed the sampling strategy and survey questions of the quantitative component and provided context for interpretation of quantitative results.

  • A quantitative survey was administered in June 2010 by trained interviewers to PWID and other drug users (non-injecting), who were recruited through a combination of snowball and targeted sampling. All participants were tested for HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) using rapid diagnostic antibody tests.

  • A preliminary response phase included the provision of information and prevention materials to each participant. In addition, participants had the option of learning their HIV and HCV test results, and were referred to a health care centre or hospital if required.

In total, 430 drug users were recruited for the quantitative survey, including 267 PWID and 163 other drug users (non-injecting).


This rapid assessment and response was conducted by Médecins du Monde - France (MdM-F).

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Anna Bowring

PhD Student & Research Assistant