Injecting drug use in Bangladesh

Md Mofizul Islam

Md Mofizul Islam is a member of the Bangladesh Civil Service. He has acted as Assistant Chief of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh, and as an officer in the HIV/AIDS prevention program. He has been involved in health service planning in Bangladesh. His current research includes harm reduction and health education in relation to drug misuse, HIV and other STIs and sexual risk behaviours. At present he works in the ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment of the Government of Bangladesh.
Some of his recent publications are:

  1. Islam, M. M., & Conigrave, K. M. (2007). Increasing prevalence of HIV, and persistent high-risk behaviours among drug users in Bangladesh: need for comprehensive harm reduction programme. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26(4), 445 - 454.
  2. Islam, M. M., Conigrave, K. M. (2008). HIV and sexual risk behaviours among recognised high-risk groups in Bangladesh: need for a comprehensive prevention programme. International Journal of Infectious Disease (in press).
  3. Islam, M. M., & Conigrave, K. M. (2007). Syringe vending machines as a form of needle syringe program: Advantages and Disadvantages. Journal of Substance Use, 12(3), 203 - 212.
  4. Islam, M. M., Wodak, A., & Conigrave, K. M. (2007). The effectiveness and safety of syringe vending machines as a component of needle syringe programmes in community settings.
  5. Islam, M. M., Conigrave, K. M. (2007). Assessing the role of syringe dispensing machine and mobile van outlets in reaching hard-to-reach and high-risk group of injecting drug users (IDUs): a review. Harm Reduction Journal (in press).
  6. Islam, M. M., Conigrave, K. M., & Stern, T. (in press). Perception of health staff of syringe vending machines as a mode of the needle syringe programme: a pilot study. Substance Use and Misuse.
  7. Islam, M. M., Stern, T., Conigrave, K. M., & Wodak, A. (in press). Client satisfaction and risk behaviours of the users of syringe dispensing machines: a pilot study. Drug and Alcohol Review.

What made me choose Sydney University's MScMed (STD/HIV) course?

I had been awarded an AusAID scholarship for doing MSc in a HIV/AIDS related field. Before, I finalised my choice, I did a website search to find a suitable department that exclusively dealt with HIV/AIDS. I was happy to see, from the webpage of this department, that it offered almost all the relevant units/topics relating to HIV/AIDS and STIs. The inbuilt research opportunity, which the STI Research Center offers to its students, attracted me more than anything.

What I liked about the MScMed (STI/HIV) course?

A very friendly teaching and learning environment, experienced in conducting research. It was scary at the beginning, as I did not have a background in Health however, everything was fine in the end.

Why were you interested in researching the topic you did?

I was looking for a research area, which till then had not been explored that much, and which needed immediate attention. Perceptions of staff and users of syringe vending machines, at that time, was something almost totally unexplored. Although there was small scale literature available, most of these were from European settings. Moreover, client satisfaction had not been addressed in these studies. In spite of having a large number of machines in Australia, particularly in New South Wales, little feedback had been obtained, and most is was from trial evaluations and focus group discussions at the very early stages of installation comprising a very small number of users. Furthermore, staff perceptions have often been ignored. Moreover, there were some controversies surrounding these machines. Therefore, it was important to study the perception of users and staff of syringe vending machines to understand the advantages and disadvantages of these machines as a potential outlet of needle syringe programs.

For further information, Mofi can be contacted via or via .