The syndemics of addiction, HIV and TB are concentrated in criminal justice settings (CJS). HIV and TB contribute most to mortality among the ~50-60 million people who transition through prisons annually. Malaysia has the highest HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in Asia where criminalization of drugs is harsh, resulting in the highest HIV prevalence among prisoners and the second highest incarceration rate in Asia. While mortality decreased 39% in Asia, it has increased in Malaysia where treatment of HIV and TB are inadequately treated among PWIDs, especially in prisoners.
Over the past 10 years, researchers at Yale University and the University of Malaya have continuously collaborated on research involving key populations, including PWIDs, prisoners, MSM and both female and transgender sex workers. Our research has multidisciplinary at the interface of addiction and infectious diseases like HIV, TB, HCV and sexually transmitted infections. Our research has been supported through funding for a number of pre- and post-doctoral students and junior faculty members through our Fogarty-sponsored Global Health Equity Scholars program, Doris Duke Charitable Global Health Training, Fulbright scholarships and through NIDA-sponsored research grants. Project Harapan II builds upon past studies and these collaborations.