Numerous studies have shown that injecting drug users (IDUs) who engage in multiperson sharing of needles and syringes have an increased risk for HIV transmission. Drug-related risk behaviors, including exchange of sex for drugs or money, have also been independently associated with HIV infection.
Injection-related risk behaviors account for the majority of new HIV infections in many parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, Russia, and Southeast Asia. Rapid HIV transmission among populations and social groups associated with injection drug use in low prevalence settings is leading to new epidemics in many countries.
Research has shown that substance abuse treatment programs, which aim to reduce the frequency of drug use, have made a positive impact on reducing drug-related risk behaviors and subsequent HIV exposure. Risk reduction among active drug users has also been accomplished in various settings via community outreach programs and access to sterile injection equipment.
Nevertheless, preventing HIV transmission among non-injecting and injecting drug users remains an urgent and expanding public health problem in many regions of the world. The NIAID HIV prevention portfolio includes a number of scientific priorities which address risk reduction for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among injecting and non-injecting drug users. These priorities include
Last Updated November 11, 2009