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Home > Injection practices and sexual behaviors among persons with diagnosed HIV infection who inject drugs - United States, 2015-2017.

Dasgupta, Sharoda and Tie, Yunfeng and Lemons, Ansley and Wu, Kathleen and Burnett, Janet and Shouse, R Luke . (2019) Injection practices and sexual behaviors among persons with diagnosed HIV infection who inject drugs - United States, 2015-2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 68 (30) 653-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6830a1

URL: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6830a1.ht...

During 2016, 6% of persons in the United States who received a diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection had their HIV infection attributed to injection drug use (1). Injection practices and sexual behaviors among HIV-positive persons who inject drugs, such as injection equipment sharing and condomless sex, can increase HIV transmission risk; nationally representative estimates of the prevalences of these behaviors are lacking. The Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) is an annual, cross-sectional survey that reports nationally representative estimates of clinical and behavioral characteristics among U.S. adults with diagnosed HIV (2). CDC used MMP data to assess high-risk injection practices and sexual behaviors among HIV-positive persons who injected drugs during the preceding 12 months and compared their HIV transmission risk behaviors with those of HIV-positive persons who did not inject drugs. During 2015-2017, approximately 10% (weighted percentage estimate) of HIV-positive persons who injected drugs engaged in distributive injection equipment sharing (giving used equipment to another person for use); nonsterile syringe acquisition and unsafe disposal methods were common.

Overall, among HIV-positive persons who injected drugs, 80% received no treatment, and 57% self-reported needing drug or alcohol treatment. Compared with HIV-positive persons who did not inject drugs, those who injected drugs were more likely to have a detectable viral load (48% versus 35%; p = 0.008) and engage in high-risk sexual behaviors (p<0.001). Focusing on interventions that reduce high-risk injection practices and sexual behaviors and increase rates of viral suppression might decrease HIV transmission risk among HIV-positive persons who inject drugs. Successful substance use treatment could also lower risk for transmission and overdose through reduced injection.


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