Improving HIV service delivery for people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan: study protocol for the Bridge stepped-wedge trial

McCrimmon, Tara; Gilbert, Louisa; Hunt, Timothy; Terlikbayeva, Assel; Wu, Elwin; Darisheva, Meruyert; Primbetova, Sholpan; Kuskulov, Azamat; Davis, Alissa; Dasgupta, Anindita; Schackman, Bruce R.; Metsch, Lisa R.; Feaster, Daniel J.; Baiserkin, Baurzhan; El-Bassel, Nabila

People who inject drugs (PWID) in Kazakhstan face many barriers to HIV testing as well as to accessing HIV care, to retention in HIV care, and to initiating and adhering to anti-retroviral treatment (ART). Needle and syringe programs (NSPs) are an opportune setting for integrated interventions to link PWID to HIV care.

This Hybrid Type II study employs a stepped-wedge design to evaluate both effectiveness and implementation outcomes of Bridge, an intervention to identify, test, and link HIV-positive PWID to HIV care. The study is conducted at 24 NSPs in three different regions of Kazakhstan, to assess outcomes on the individual, organizational, and policy levels.

This trial responds to an identified need for new models of HIV service delivery for PWID through harm reduction settings.

Trial registration


on June 10, 2016.


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Implementation Science

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August 10, 2022


HIV, Harm reduction, People who inject drugs (PWID)