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.
It is no surprise that the number of prescription drug abusers has been growing steadily and so have the rates of overdose death. It is an increasingly dangerous situation that affects people in all ages, socioeconomic groups, and races. However, despite the attention the opiate epidemic is getting in general, one group of people is….
Heroin addiction results in many major health effects and can affect the brain both physically and psychologically. The drug addiction comes with various long-term effects that cannot be reversed as well as many different short-term effects. The affects of heroin on the central nervous system are felt nearly immediately after heroin is smoked, snorted or….
You may have discovered your child has an addiction to drugs or alcohol or they may have come to you with that information. No matter how you discovered the truth, you are probably still reeling from it and trying as quickly as possible to find a way for your child to get sober. Of course….
Statistics show that there are millions of people who suffer from drug addiction and need drug treatment in the United States alone yet less than 3% of them will ever be admitted to a drug treatment center. Residential treatment centers provide the necessary treatment for an addict to break the cycle of addiction and begin….
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….
Despite the American Psychological Association’s doubts that internet addiction can be considered an actual addiction there are points that an obsession with the internet fits the definition. The persistent and compulsive use of the internet to the determent of a person’s life or livelihood definitely exists. Many people report that the internet has ruined their….
Relapse is a difficult subject to tackle because many people use it to invalidate all of the progress made during rehabilitation. If an addict has a slip or backslides, it is as if their previous hard work and abstinence goes out the window. But, the reality is that most people don’t seek treatment and immediately….
Drug or alcohol addiction can literally ruin your life and leave you with nowhere else to turn. You feel helpless and hopeless, alone and defeated—but there’s always help! Determining whether residential addiction treatment is the right choice for your recovery needs can be challenging but with proper education and guidance you can make the decision….
Finding rehab treatment can be a difficult process, but it is always important to remember to put the needs of the patient first. If you are looking for a live in rehab facility for addiction treatment, make sure to do your research so you can make an informed decision. Why Choose Addiction Treatment According to….
Anxiety can be a serious disorder and may be a detriment to the everyday life of one who suffers from it. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, but the disorders are also….