Women Injecting Drug Users ( Widus )

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Women injecting drug users (WIDUs) in Tanzania face significant risks to drug related harms that require specific gender appropriate responses. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disproportionately infects WIDUs at a rate 55-68% higher compared to their male counterparts (Ratliff et al., 2013). In Tanzania, drug related harm reduction currently exists by means of needle and syringe programs (NSPs) and opioid substitution therapy (OST) (UNAIDS, 2016). Despite the presence of these harm reduction approaches; research indicates that only 8-10% of the people who utilize the services are women (Lambdin et al., 2013; Zamudio-Haas, Mahenge, Saleem, Mbwambo, & Lambdin, 2016). Reluctances of utilizing harm reduction services are largely tied to several specific factors concerning the unaddressed needs of women. In a number of studies, intense stigma and discrimination were noted as strong deterrents for WIDUs seeking any kind of harm reduction or addiction treatment (Alam-mehrjerdi et al., 2016, Lambdin, et al., 2013; Torchalla, Linden, Strehlau, Neilson, & Krausz, 2014, Zamudio-Haas et al., 2016). In Tanzania, WIDUs reported intense stigma especially in medical settings when seeking reproductive treatment (Zamudio-Haas et al., 2016). Gender-inequalities and the exposure to violence and abuse in WIDUs have further impeded access to harm reduction services (Alam-mehrjerdi et al., 2016, Torchalla et al., 2014, Zamudio-Haas et al., 2016). In the region of sub-Sahara Africa,

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