Intravenous drug users are the second largest risk group for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and a bridge to two other groups: children and heterosexual partners. In the absence of effective treatment or vaccines, control of the epidemic among drug users will rely on efforts to reduce needle sharing. However, the traditional image of intravenous drug users leads one to expect little or no risk reduction. We review characteristics of AIDS as a disease that impede efforts at risk reduction among drug users and report on current risk reduction among intravenous drug users in New York City. There has been a sustained increase in the demand for new, unused needles, as shown in the emergence of 'resealed' needles and in interviews with persons selling needles in illicit drug-purchasing areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine