Public health officials on a local and statewide level are concerned about the rising number of HIV diagnosis among people who are injection drug users.
the first six months, public health officials have investigated 11
new HIV infection cases. In 2017, they investigated 15 cases for the
entire year where half of them reported injecting drugs as the reason
for the infection.
McCaffrey is a DPHHS HIV epidemiologist, and she said the rise in IV
drug use and HIV means people are putting themselves and partners at risk for HIV infection.
chances of HIV and other blood-borne illnesses is high if someone
shares injection equipment or needles, as they are a direct route for
HIV is a big concern, injection drug use can lead to other illnesses
and complications such as hepatitis B and C, which can then cause
severe liver disease.
substances can also lead to a rise in other STDs and unwanted
pregnancy. Drug users tend to engage in risky sexual behavior –
such as multiple partners, unprotected sex, etc. This increases their
chances of developing other STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia,
health officials have urged people to lower their chance of HIV and
other blood-borne infections by doing the following:
Stop all drug and injection usage. When injecting drugs, don’t share needles and use sterile ones only.
Be open to your partner about HIV and other STDs.
Always use latex condoms each time you are sexually active.
Talk openly and honestly to your doctor about your previous sexual history and be tested for STDs and HIV.
and other healthcare providers are urged to review and test patients
for possible HIV infections. According to the CDC, people between the
ages of 13 and 64 should be tested for HIV as part of their routine
healthcare. People who fall under any of the risk factors need to be
tested more often – yearly is ideal.
People who want a free HIV test or get rid of their needless can check out the GetTested.MT.gov website to find an anonymous testing site or any syringe exchange location.
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