Unless you’ve been in a cave since the mid-1980’s, you know that drug use, particularly IV drug use, is correlated with HIV and AIDS. But over the last decade, the immune-deficiency disease hasn’t got the limelight it once did and people may not understand the risks associated with drug use and HIV.
A virus that attacks the body’s immune system, HIV is transmitted through contact with an infected individual’s blood or body fluids. It destroys T-helper cells, a specific kind of white blood cell, and mimics itself inside the cell, spreading quickly.
When talking about addiction and HIV, most people automatically assume you’re talking about sharing needles, but that’s not the only way addiction increases your risk to contract the virus. Addicts are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, especially when intoxicated, than others. These risky behaviors include unprotected sex, promiscuity, and prostitution, all which put those addicted to drugs and alcohol at a much higher risk rate than the average person.
Sharing needles is one of the main ways HIV is spread in the United States.
Although many don’t like to admit it, when you’re an IV drug user, eventually, no matter how hard you try not to, you’ll find yourself in a situation when you share a needle with someone else. Typically, there’s always a justification: it’s my boyfriend, I know she’s not infected, she’s my best friend, he’d tell me if he hadn’t been tested. But the fact remains, sharing a needle with anyone is dangerous.
According to the Center for Disease Control, it’s estimated that nearly 1.2 million Americans are infected with HIV, and over one in ten doesn’t know they’re infected. That’s over 156,000 people. That’s a lot. And that’s why HIV continues to spread.
What Happened in Indiana
In the summer of 2015, Indiana experienced the worst HIV outbreak in years, all related to heroin and IV drug use. As of February 2016, 188 cases have been diagnosed, a few more being added almost every month since the breakout began. This event has awakened some to the devastating effects heroin is having on our country, and has demonstrated to users the importance of not sharing needles. Even though so many people were infected, the progression has slowed immensely and policies are being put into place for harm reduction. The use of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a combination of two HIV medications, has been used to prevent infection in those who are most at risk. The drug combination reduces the risk of HIV by 90 percent through unprotected sex and 70 percent through IV drug use.
Drug Use Impacts Treatment
HIV and AIDS were once considered a fatal disease and diagnosis was a death sentence, but that’s not the case anymore. Treated with heavy anti-virals, HIV can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Unless you’re abusing drugs or alcohol. Drug use impacts the way your body accepts the treatment and doesn’t allow it get as many benefits.
Is Drug Use Putting You at Risk?
Are you concerned that your drug use is putting you at risk for HIV or AIDS? Are you ready to make a change and embrace a life in recovery? Call 800-481-6320 for help today.
Heroin is a severely addictive drug that causes dependence and withdrawal symptoms that are extremely intense and difficult to cope with. The dependence that develops as a result of heroin addiction and the fear associated with the painful withdrawal symptoms is ultimately what causes a heroin addict to avoid seeking treatment for heroin addiction at….
Both long-term and short-term treatment options exist for nearly every type of rehab facility, and individuals in need of recovery help are asked to choose the program that is best for them. But why would anyone choose long-term treatment if they can go through a shorter program and recover more quickly? Long-term Treatment for Long-term….
Alcoholism is a dangerous condition that affects both the addict and those around them. Throughout the world, people are struggling with alcohol addiction and trying to decide whether or not they should confront their loved one about a drinking problem. Though nobody wants to admit that their loved one has a drinking problem, the reality….
Various studies have been completed to determine how continuing care affects that chances of an addict maintaining recovery after drug rehab. In fact, studies show that those who complete continued care after the are discharged from a drug rehab center are more likely to maintain their sobriety and less likely to relapse, especially during the….
“Your past will come back to haunt you,” it’s a phrase that so many addicts remember and equally regret having ever heard and yet as sobriety looms near so too do memories of the past. Drug addiction creates a chaotic atmosphere that is plagued by arrests, fighting with friends, family and loved ones, and hundreds….
If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol then you already know how difficult it is to quit. Unfortunately, some people need more than just one reason to seek help before they actually make the call and the commitment to getting sober. If you’re one of those people who needs a….
While it is not 100% necessary for an individual to be “ready” for rehab in order for them to make a full recovery from alcohol addiction, the treatment process can sometimes be fast tracked just a little bit when the addict actually wants to be helped. In order to determine if you have a problem and….
Treatment professionals and others in recovery know that hope is the catalyst that keeps a struggling substance abuser motivated and engaged in recovery efforts. Long term effects of chronic substance abuse can bring on significant problems in the areas of medical and psychiatric health, employment, and family relations. These issues can be impediments to seeking….
Alcohol rehab centers are a dime a dozen in the United States and unfortunately, while there are tons of treatment options available for the recovery of alcoholism, there are very few options for explanation on choosing the best rehab center for such addiction. Finding an alcohol treatment program can be not only difficult but even more so—it can be a daunting task.
A common question that many wives have is whether or not their husband is an alcoholic. Let’s face it, many men (and women) like to drink on a regular basis—but does this make every one of them an alcoholic? Not necessarily! There is more to being an alcoholic than simply having a few beers with the guys after….