Sholpan Primbetova

Director of Regional Projects, Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, Almaty, Kazakhstan


  • HIV risks among injecting and non-injecting female partners of men who inject drugs in Almaty, Kazakhstan: Implications for HIV prevention, research, and policy. El-Bassel, N., Gilbert, L., Terlikbayeva, A., Beyrer, C., Wu, E., Shaw, S.A., Ma, X., Chang, M., Hunt, T., Ismayilova, L., Primbetova, S., Rozental, Y., Zhussupov, B. International Journal of Drug Policy (2014)
  • Effects of a couple-based intervention to reduce risks for HIV, HCV, and STIs among drug-involved heterosexual couples in Kazakhstan: A randomized controlled trial. Nabila El-Bassel, Louisa Gilbert, Assel Terlikbayeva, Chris Beyrer, Elwin Wu, Mingway Chang, Tim Hunt, Leyla Ismayilova, Stacey A Shaw, Sholpan Primbetova, Yelena Rozental, Baurzhan Zhussupov, Marat Tukeyev. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.39). 07/2014; DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000277
  • Redressing the epidemics of overdose and HIV among people who inject drugs in Central Asia: The need for a syndemic approach. Gilbert, L., Primbetova, S., Nikitin, D., Hunt, T., Terlikbayeva, A., Momenghalibaf, A., Ruziev, M., El-Bassel, N. (2013). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1325, 565-560.
  • Access to HIV counseling and testing among people who inject drugs in Central Asia: Strategies for improving access and linkage to treatment and care. Terlikbayeva, A., Zhussupov, B., Primbetova, S., Gilbert, L., Atabekov, N., Giyazova, G., Ruziev, M., Soliev, A., Saliev, D., Bassel, N. (2013). Drug Alcohol Dependence, 1325, 561-564.
  • Scaling up HIV prevention for people who inject drugs in Central Asia. Boltaev, A., El-Bassel, N., Terlikbaeva, A., Deryabina, A., Zhussupov, B., Gilbert, L., Hunt, T., Primbetova, S., Strathdee, S. (2013). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1325, 541-547.


  • Title: HIV/STI Prevention for Drug-Involved Couples in Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Role: Co-investigator
  • Agency: National Institute of Drug Abuse
  • Type: R01 DA022914. Period: July 15, 2008, to May 31, 2013
  • The goal of this project is to test the efficacy of a couple-based HIV/STI prevention to increase condom use and reduce injection drug use among drug users and their main heterosexual partners.
  • Title: HIV/STI Risk Among Migrant Workers in Kazakhstan
  • Role: Research Scientist
  • Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
  • Type: R01 MH082684. Period:  September 25, 2009, to June 30, 2013
  • This two-stage study aims to examine the influence of theory-driven, multi-driven determinants on sexual risk behaviors and incidence of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis among migrant market vendors at the Barakholka Market in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • Title: ADVANCE (ADVocacy and Assessment of Naloxone in CEntral Asia)
  • Role: Co-Investigator
  • Agency: OSI/NY
  • Type: January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2014
  • This one year project aims to support regional advocacy initiatives and evidence-based programs to scale up the peer distribution of Naloxone to opiate users and their support network members in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
  • Title: Evaluating a Microfinance Intervention for High Risk Women in Kazakhstan
  • Role: Co-Investigator
  • Agency: NIDA
  • Type: January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2019
  • This study will examine the efficacy of combined HIV and microfinance interventions to reduce sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexual risk behaviors and to increase financial literacy, vocational skills and income from alternatives to sex work among women who inject drugs or are drug-involved and engage in sex trading in Kazakhstan.
  • Title: Research Study on Tuberculosis Factors in Central Asia Migrants “CARAVAN”
  • Role: Investigator, Regional Coordinator
  • Agency: USAID/CAR
  • Type: August 1, 2013 – June 30, 2015
  • This is a research study on tuberculosis risk factors among Central Asia migrants with the overall goal to estimate the prevalence rate of TB, levels of knowledge about TB, access to TB services, and identify multi-level risk factors (e.g., individual and environmental/structural) associated with TB among migrant workers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The findings from this study will guide the design of future interventions to diagnose and treat TB and MDR-TB in this vulnerable population, and will consider ways to improve access to TB services and care.

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