Women who are infected with HIV and are transitioning back to communities after serving jail time are less likely than their male counterparts to have a regular HIV care provider, to take and regularly adhere to an HIV medication regimen, and to have suppression of the virus.
One of the fastest-spreading recorded U.S. outbreaks of HIV since the inception of the epidemic is now occurring in southeastern Indiana, and it is being driven by injection drug use—specifically, abuse of the opioid painkiller Opana (oxymorphone). Sadly, this outbreak was preventable, given all that we know about HIV and its links to opioid addiction, yet adequate treatment resources and public health safeguards were not in place. Following the discovery of 11 new HIV cases in Indiana’s rural Scott County in January, positive tests have been reported almost daily, and health investigators are actively locating and testing people who may have shared needles or had sex with those infected.
Methamphetamine use and HIV infection raise the risk for functional dependence, or the need for assistance with everyday tasks. People who use methamphetamine and are HIV positive showed the highest levels of functional dependence in most domains of daily life.
Nano-antiretroviral therapy (nano-ART) turns macrophages—one of the very cell types that HIV uses to replicate and spread through the body—into carriers for anti-HIV medications. The approach has the potential to make treatment for HIV easier and more effective.
A special issue of the journal Prevention Science spotlights six NIDA-funded early interventions (delivered prior to the onset of adolescence) that successfully reduced later health-risking sexual behaviors related to HIV/AIDS.
Transmission of HIV continues at an unacceptably high rate, and drug use plays an important role—both through exposure to infected body fluids among injection drug users and through the lowered inhibition and risky sexual behaviors that all forms of drug use facilitate. Almost 1.1 million Americans are currently living with the HIV virus, and nearly a sixth of those don’t even know they are infected. That means they aren’t getting needed treatment, and it means they could be passing the infection on to others without knowing.
Active drug use before incarceration was associated with decreased engagement in HIV treatment among HIV-infected jail detainees. The severity of drug dependence correlated with worsening measures of engagement in HIV treatment. The study concludes that evidence-based treatment for drug abuse in jails may result in improved HIV treatment outcomes, which in turn could help slow HIV-transmission rates in the United States.