HIV meds don’t up IV drug abusers’ risk-taking
published on August 12, 2010 by Amy Norton in Reuters
(Reuters Health) – Despite some concerns to the contrary, IV drug abusers who get drug treatment for HIV do not seem to increase their risky behavior, a new study suggests.
In the U.S., injection drug use has directly or indirectly accounted for more than one-third of AIDS cases since the epidemic began, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Injection drug users are at increased risk of HIV both because of their drug abuse — the virus can be transmitted through shared needles or other equipment — and because of their increased rates of risky sexual behavior.
International guidelines say that injection drug users should have universal access to the antiretroviral drugs that can suppress HIV and forestall the progression to AIDS. However, some short-term studies have raised concerns that once these individuals start treatment, they often increase their sexual risk-taking — becoming more likely to forgo condoms or have multiple partners, for example.
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